North American College M
SHEPHERDS IN SUCCESSION
Inside - Five Rectorsâ€™ Reflections on the Papacy of John Paul II - Ars Retreat - Habemus Papam!
MAGAZINE STAFF Editor Michael McClane Diocese of Trenton Class of 2006 Assistant Editors Andrew Roza Archdiocese of Omaha Class of 2007 Dylan Corbett Diocese of Providence Class of 2008 Casa Santa Maria Editor Rev. James Farnan Diocese of Pittsburgh
E P A R T M E N T S
THE RECTOR’S CORNER - by Rev. Msgr. Kevin McCoy ‘81, C’86
VOCATION STORY - by Steven Titus ‘08
DEVELOPMENT OFFICE - by Tricia Lloyd
THE ECONOMO’S CORNER - by Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ‘92, C’97
R I E F
LEARNING FROM THE PRIESTLY PATRON - by Michael McClane ‘06
A CARDINAL SPEAKS - An Interview with Francis Cardinal George
THE COLLEGE CHOIR
Layout and Design John McDonald Diocese of Birmingham Class of 2007 Sam Kachuba Diocese of Bridgeport Class of 2008 Photographers Seamus Griesbach Diocese of Portland Class of 2007 Ernest Cibelli Archdiocese of Baltimore Class of 2008
For more information about the North American College, or to learn about opportunities for memorial gifts, contact Tricia Lloyd at our Washington, DC Office of Development: Tel: (202) 541-5411 Fax: (202) 722-8804 Email: email@example.com or visit our website at www.pnac.org
AT THE PAPAL FUNERAL - by Michael McClane ‘06
A RECTOR’S MEMORIES - by Rev. Msgr. Lawrence Purcell
A RECTOR’S MEMORIES - by Most Rev. Edwin O’Brien
A RECTOR’S MEMORIES - by Most Rev.Timothy Dolan
“BETWEEN” TWO POPES - by Rev. Michael Deascanis ‘04
THE SPIRITUALITY OF JOHN PAUL II - by Franz Klein ‘08
THE SMOKE, THE SQUARE, THE SUSPENSE - by Joseph Previtali ‘08
A CARDINAL REFLECTS - An Interview with Edward Cardinal Egan
A COUNTRY PRIEST SHARES HIS JOY - by Rev. Gilbert Dutel
“QUO VADIS?” - FACULTY DEAPRTURES - by Dylan Corbett ‘08
EAT U R E S
An Adventure in Following Christ by Marc Lenneman ’06
Media Blitz at the NAC by Joseph Shimek ’07
A Cardinal’s Thoughts on the Conclave An Interview with Roger Cardinal Mahoney
12 Witness to a Life A Priest Speaks About the Funeral of John Paul II
A Pontifical Visit
by Rev. Pablo Gadenz, Casa Santa Maria
Remembering the Visit of Pope John Paul II to the College by Rev. Msgr. Charles Murphy
Board of Governors Chairman Most Rev. Edwin F. O’Brien C’76 Archbishop of the Military Services, USA
Vice Chairman Most Rev. Richard E. Pates ’69 Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Secretary Most Rev. Patrick J. Zurek ’75 Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio
Treasurer Most Rev. John J. Myers ’67 Archbishop of Newark
Most Rev. Leonard P. Blair ’75, C’78 Bishop of Toledo
Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran ’62 Bishop of Rockford
His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan ’58, C’63 Archbishop of New York
Most Rev. Victor B. Galeone ’63 “Spiritus Gladidus” - The Sword of the Spirit. The statue of St Paul at the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls.
Bishop of St. Augustine
Most Rev. John R. Gaydos ’69 Bishop of Jefferson City
Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz
Bishop of Knoxville
Most Rev. William J. Levada ’62, ’69
Rev. Msgr. Kevin C. McCoy ’81, C’86
Archbishop of San Francisco
Vice Rector for Administration Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ’92, C’97
Vice Rector for Student Life
Most Rev. Henry J. Mansell ’63 Archbishop of Hartford
Rev. Peter McGuine ’90
Most Rev. Anthony M. Milone ’58
Superior, Casa Santa Maria
Bishop of Great Falls-Billings
Rev. Msgr. Steven Raica C’95
Most Rev. Michael J. Sheridan C’77
Director of Development
Bishop of Colorado Springs
Mrs. Tricia Lloyd
E CT O R
O R N E R
“...the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (Jn 10:11) Rev. Msgr. Kevin C. McCoy ’81, C’86 Diocese of Sioux City Rector
ur older Italian employees, many of whom came to work at the College following the Second World War and are now retiring, used to observe at the arrival of a new rector, “Well, we’ve seen them come and we’ll see them go.” Well, in 1977 when I arrived as a New Man at the College to begin theological studies, I never imagined that I might witness the election of two new popes in 1978: John Paul I and John Paul II. What is more, I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I would be in Rome twenty-six years later to witness the burial of His Holiness John Paul II and the election of his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, let alone be serving as the rector! My predecessors will share with you the impact of Pope John Paul II on seminary life during their tenures; I would like to share with you some of the moments at NAC from April 2005. Many of the seminarians were still away on Easter break as John Paul II “went home to the Father.” As they returned home, the sense of loss was palpable. Many of these men were inspired to respond to the Lord’s call to priesthood precisely because of the witness of John Paul II. They are JP II’s men, but on that day they learned what ...I never in my wildest dreams would they always really knew – their lives, the pope’s life, are nothing have thought that I would be in Rome but to point to the true life found in Christ Jesus. twenty-six years later to witness the burWe mourned the loss of our Holy Father. That Saturday ial of His Holiness John Paul II and the evening at 11:00 PM we gathered in the Chapel of the election of his successor, Pope Benedict Immaculate Conception to pray for his happy repose and for XVI, let alone be serving as the rector! the Church universal. But the seminarians and the priests trusted that the Spirit would guide the election of the new Vicar. In the days ahead, seven Cardinals from the United States arrived to make their home on the Janiculum Hill, heavy with the understanding of their own responsibility to open their hearts anew to the movement of the Spirit as they prepared to enter Conclave. While our schedule of prayer remained constant – daily Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharistic adoration – in these momentous days one could see a cardinal-elector kneeling in a pew next to a first theologian, and both were beseeching the Lord for guidance (even though only one of them had the vote!). The Cardinal-electors could not have been more generous to the seminarians and priests “on the Hill.” They were always ready to share a story or an insight to the degree that their promise of secrecy would allow. They created a sense of the Church being well overseen in this “interregnum.” As the cardinals left for Conclave on April 17, the tenor of our house would change again. After praying for the cardinals in the morning, at the Eucharist celebrated in St. Peter’s for the election of the new pontiff, we gathered back at the seminary in the afternoon to witness the beginning of the conclave as it was broadcast on live television. Not long thereafter, however, the auditorium would empty – not that the seminarians would go to their rooms, but that they would leave the house to head down to St. Peter’s square to await the results of the first ballot – black smoke. The next morning the seminarians’ usual route to the Greg or the Ange seemed to lead them “strangely” to St. Peter’s square. SUMMER 2 0 0 5
After all, that was where the ecclesiology lesson was being held on Tuesday, April 19. At 11:50 AM smoke emerged from the chimney; the tension mounted and the excitement grew perceptibly as the crowd argued – was it white or black? Surely it was black – otherwise the bells of St. Peter’s would announce the successful vote. The only bells of St. Peter’s we heard were those which tolled the mid-day hour. We went home for lunch and a nap so as to make ready for the next ballot that afternoon. Many of the seminarians held their posts in the front row of seats in the square (trusting that a brother would return with some food), thus assuring themselves a good view of the chimney and the balcony, should the new pope be elected. They would not be disappointed, and they would end up in countless print media as their arm-raised howls greeted the announcement of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the new pope who would choose to be called Benedict XVI. That evening the men celebrated this historic moment and cheered as the cardinals returned from Domus Sanctae Martae. The men enjoyed the reflections of the cardinals as they shared what they could of the Conclave itself. Now, the excitement remains as His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, this “humble servant from the Lord’s vineyard”, assumes his responsibilities as Universal Pastor. The loyalty and filial affection of the men of JP II now belongs to Benedict; the seminarians and priests of the Pontifical North American College are men of the Church formed after the heart and mind of Jesus Christ. Enjoy the magazine!
Learning From the Priestly Patron Experiencing God’s Mercy in Ars, France A view of the city of Ars, France.
ne of my brother seminarians knocked on my door and told me that the Pope had just died. I let out a deep sigh and said a prayer for John Paul, and then proceeded to look for a television to try to find out more information. I was in Ars, France, finishing up a retreat focusing on the diocesan priesthood led by Fr. Frederick Miller, one of the College spiritual directors. We had known all week that the Pope was very ill and was probably nearing the end of his earthly journey. Yet the news still came as a surprise. John Paul had been for me the man who simply would never die, the man whose papacy outlasted my life and would somehow continue to always be there guiding it. Not receiving much information from the French newscast, I walked outside and looked up at the star-lit sky. I thought about the Church, about my brother seminarians, about my family. How was this going to change our lives? I also wished I was in Rome to mourn the Pope’s passing. I had spent the last three years in Rome, could see John Paul’s window outside my own, yet at the moment he died I was not there. Here I was in Ars, a lonely,
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
rural, out of the way village in the middle of nowhere! But then I paused and had an insight. I looked out across the quiet valley from our retreat center, towards a little church now turned into a small basilica. Earlier that evening our small group of seminarians had made a short pilgrimage over to that In the town of Ars, looking up at the Basilica of St. Jean church while praying the Marie Vianney. Rosary. This was the parish church of St. Jean Marie Vianney, the Cure d’Ars, the priest who cared faith- The confessional used by St. Jean Marie Vianney. fully for the souls of hundreds of thousands of people over the course of his 40 years in Ars. This frail, poorly educated man assigned to a backwater parish was to become the universal patron of diocesan priests throughout the world. He lived a life centered on the Eucharist and brought many people to Christ in the sacraments, most conspicuously in the Confessional, where he reconciled souls for up to 16 hours each day. He believed that “the mercy of God is like an over flowing torrent, it carries along hearts in passing.” His preaching, catechesis, and pastoral charity were all models of priestly life, and we seminarians on retreat had received a taste of his holiness. It was to this man that France flocked in the period after her bloody, atheistic Revolution. It was to this man, and not to politicians, army generals, or media critics, that hundreds of thousands of people made pilgrimage across France, across Europe, over hills and through valleys, to be reconciled to God in a simple wooden confessional. And then it started to become clear to me. Under that April night sky I only had a faint idea of how many pilgrims were starting to make their way to Rome at this very moment, looking to be touched by Jesus. They were coming to pay their last respects to a priest and Pope who challenged them to be reconciled to Jesus Christ and to find meaning and purpose in their lives. They were flocking to a man whose life was centered on the Eucharist and who brought many people to Christ in the sacraments. They were coming to see for one last time a priestly Pope who preached, catechized and exemplified pastoral charity, and who gave people a taste of holiness. Yes, we were privileged to be with St. Jean Vianney when Pope John Paul died. All week the Saint had taught us what it meant to be a priest, and had given us a living example with his life. Now, we were getting ready to return to Rome to give respect to another Christian pilgrim who taught us how to be holy priests. As we flew off to Rome, we kept the extraordinary yet simple example of St. Jean Marie Vianney in our hearts and could almost hear him tell us gently, “The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.” by Michael McClane Editor Diocese of Trenton Class of 2006 The tomb and remains of St. Jean Marie Vianney.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
An Adventure in Following Christ Awaiting the Pope’s Funeral with Expectant Hearts
ollowing Christ is a great adventure, one full of constant surprises and unimaginably rich experiences. The events surrounding Pope John Paul II’s death certainly reinforced that reality. During the days when the Holy Father lay in state, many of my brother seminarians and I were deeply moved at the holiness that permeated the atmosphere around St. Peter’s. There was no other place in the world to be than in the midst of the Catholic family that had gathered there. Consequently, we decided to spend the night before the funeral down by the Basilica with sleeping bags, pretzels, and expectant hearts waiting to see what the Lord might have in store for us. The streets around St. Peter’s began filling with pilgrims by early afternoon. We set up a makeshift camp outside the colonnade and began meeting people. The atmosphere was full of joy and peace. To my surprise, around 8:00 pm, I heard my name being shouted by about 15 people. I turned and saw a group of students from the Loyola University Rome Center, weaving their way through the mass of humanity. The Rome Center is where I had been doing my apostolic work. A couple of seminarians and I join the students for dinner, Mass, Eucharistic adoration with praise and worship, and other encounters. I had talked earlier with one of them and mentioned where we would be, but as I saw the area fill, I thought that there was no way we would ever meet. We laughed about the effort they had to make to get to our rendezvous point, creatively made some space and sat down to wait out the night, happy to be Seminarians brave the damp Roman spring for a together. However, our adventure was only beginning. good place to witness the funeral of Pope John At about 9:30 pm, I went with two friends to walk around a bit. Paul II. After an incredible encounter with some sisters from Miami, we returned around 11:30pm to find our campsite reduced to a barren wasteland of cobblestones and plastic bags. The place had been designated a first aid center and everybody had been cleared out. Being the only three people in Italy without cell phones, we had no way of knowing where anybody was, so we said a prayer and began our search. Providentially, we caught up with the group at one of the entrances to the Via della Conciliazione. The men from the North American College figured that would be the best place to spend the night. Unfortunately, the guards would only let seminarians onto the street. The college students had to Joseph Freedy, Pittsburgh ‘08 and Marc Lenneman, Helena ‘06 share some quality time with a religious sister visiting Rome for the Pope’s funeral. remain outside the barricade. While initially disap-
6 Pontifical North American College
MA GA Z I N E
pointed, we contented ourselves with each other’s company and found a niche on a side street near St. Peter’s. We talked, played cards, and prayed together. I joined another seminarian in asking Mary for her intercession so that this experience might be a truly special one for the Loyola students. They had been very faithful to prayer throughout the semester, and, at least in my humble opinion, deserved a break. Mary came through in the form of Chris Washington (3rd year, Diocese of Scranton) and Aaron Killips (2nd year, Diocese of Savannah). They had split from the group and were working the Italian policemen manning the barricades to see if we could somehow get inside. Eventually, they found a couple of open ears, and around 3:00 am, Chris came and told me to rally the troops. He divided us into small groups and took us through the gate while the guards looked the other way. The joy in our hearts was incredible. We had resigned ourselves to only being able to hear the Mass on loudspeakers, not even in view of the Basilica. Suddenly, we found ourselves on the Via della Conciliazione with the chance to see everything that would take place in a few hours. The greatest blessing wasn’t that we were now so close to St. Peter’s. It was the amazing way the Lord had provided for us during the night. We had been content simply to be American seminarians and students from the Loyola Rome together, no matter the location. But the Lord in His goodness Campus wait amidst the throngs of faithful to witness the had decided to give us the truly unforgettable experience of funeral of John Paul II. praying together during the funeral close to where it was actually happening. And it was an experience that we shared together, as a family would. The Spirit moved among us and opened our hearts to one another in an intimate way. We left after the funeral full of gratitude, connected to one another through our adventure and, even more, through the great love God has for His children. by Marc Lenneman Diocese of Helena Class of 2006
Above Left: Marc Lenneman, Helena ‘06, leads students in prayers and songs during the night-long vigil before the Pope’s funeral. Above right: One of the friendly Italian security guards takes a break and contemplates the logistical miracle which occured in Rome during the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
A Cardinal Speaks An Interview with Francis Cardinal George Archbishop of Chicago Conducted on Friday, April 15, 2005
e lived with the Lord. Sitting in his Fifth floor apartment at the North American College, his adopted home for these historic and event-filled days in Rome, Cardinal George spoke about Pope John Paul II with great affection and admiration and described him as a great and holy man who both strengthened the Cardinal’s own faith as well as that of many others. As for the long lines of mourners waiting hours to pay John Paul their last respects, the Cardinal sensed that they were simply responding to the love the Pope always gave them. He was especially reassured because John Paul was a man who preached and confirmed the Faith in such a strong and clear manner. The funeral Mass was a profound experience of the Faith, for the Cardinal. “This is what the Church is about, leading us through Death and Resurrection.” Cardinal Ratzinger’s homily on God’s call he thought was especially well thought out and appropriate: while we often do not know how to answer God’s call, we must have the confidence to answer it nevertheless. We are all called to discover what our life is in Christ, he said. The Cardinal was especially touched and spoke with great emotion about the moment in the funeral when they lifted the body of John Paul high, and everyone roared with applause. The man who had been with them for 26 years as pope was now gone, and their was sadness in all of us. Yet with the opening of the Conclave just three days away, the Cardinal was hopeful. We must “let the Holy Spirit do his work” and allow Him to point out to us the one He wants, adding that we are “doing what we can to think it through.” The selection of a new pope was an “open process” marked by discussion and asking questions. He encouraged people to pray for the cardinals, and said that the many letters of support he was receiving from home “gives me a lot of courage as we go forward.” Lastly, Cardinal George was confident that the Catholic faithful would adapt to the new pope with time. When the Cardinal was young he thought that Pope Pius XII was irreplaceable, but he and many others adjusted after that pope died. In one sense the “office is more important than the person who holds it,” he said, and added that we cannot judge the office by the one who holds it; while John Paul shaped the office with his personality, talents and gifts, we need to be ready to accept a new leader for our Church. This is a good experience of faith for all of us.
by Michael McClane Diocese of Trenton Class of 2006
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
A Song of Farewell
the Gospel of John, we heard Cardinal Ratzinger apply those words to the life of John Paul II. “The love of Christ was the dominant force in the life of The College Choir Sings at the Papal Funeral our beloved Holy Father. Anyone who ever saw him pray, who ever heard him preach, knows that.” After the homily, Creed, and Prayer of the Faithful, we he new evangelization to which John Paul II devot- sang “Deus Meus illuminas tenebras meas” (“Oh God, ed his papacy continues! The College community you illuminate my darkness”) as part of the Offertory witnessed this profoundly during the weeks after the chant. At several points we sang the ancient, powerful death of John Paul II. Two experiences were especially prayer “lux aeterna luceat ei, Domine.” The glorious grace-filled: thirty members of the College choir were and noble dignity of the funeral liturgy was a fitting tribable to take part in singing at both the funeral Mass for ute to our deceased yet forever beloved John Paul. Pope John Paul II and the Inaugural Mass for Pope Indeed, it was a glorious day. Benedict XVI, and thus were privileged to support and We were sad at Pope John Paul’s passing yet eager elevate the prayer of millions of people present. to carry on the mission of spreading the Gospel. The It took a while for us to make our way over to St. Offertory chant at Benedict XVI’s inaugural Mass was Peter’s on the morning of the funeral Mass. It was especially consoling. We sang the words of St. Paul: reported that the security for the event was the largest “There are only three things that remain: faith, hope, the world had ever seen, and we experienced this first- and love, and the greatest of these is love.” As I gazed hand as we passed through barricades and by security upon the sea of young people before my eyes at John personnel, holding out our tickets for safe passage. Paul’s funeral Mass, St. Augustine’s words echoed in my Helicopters had been surveying the area for days, and soul, “Oh beauty ever ancient ever new.” The body of a great man was buried, but his joyful spirit was aroused in the depths of our hearts encouraging us to carry on the mission of Jesus Christ. Under the leadership of our new Pope and the memory of our previous one, we are emboldened to continue to let Christ enter fully into our lives and open ourselves totally to him, so as to live out our friendship with him in full freedom.
by Michael McClane Diocese of Trenton Class of 2006 The choir witnesses the passing of the Pope’s coffin.
armed soldiers were guarding every entrance. The choir, directed by Sr. Cecilia Stiz of the Pie Discepole del Divin Maestro congregation, was stationed in the atrium of the basilica, less than ten yards from the opening procession. From where we were seated, we could see President George W. Bush and the American delegation, England’s Prince Charles and Prime Minister Tony Blair being escorted to their seats. We witnessed the procession of Cardinals and the passing of the Pope’s coffin, a site that pierced the very depths of my soul as we sang “Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine.” After hearing the words “Follow me!” from
Shane Deman, Sioux City ‘08, after singing in the choir at the funeral of John Paul II.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
Getting Out the Message A Media Blitz at the North American College
hen the faculty at the North American College gave me the house job, “assistant for media relations,” it didn’t seem like a demanding responsibility. But when the entire world converged on Rome to mourn the death of Pope John Paul II, the College became the de facto media center for journalists and diocesan directors of communication. Members of the media turned to our seminarians for help in understanding the events that surrounded the pope’s death. After a while, their questions started to sound the same: Why do you want to be a priest? What impact did Rev. Msgr. Robert Evans, right, head of media relations at the the pope have on your vocation? Why did he have such a College, and seminarian Joe Shimek, Milwaukee, ‘07, his assis- good relationship with youth? tant, work together to facilitate the media coverage surroundIn 2003, the College’s Board of Governors asked our ing the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope seminary to cooperate with the media’s legitimate inquiries, Benedict XVI. conscious of the College’s “historical mission of serving as a bridge between the United States of America and the center of the Church Universal.” They saw contact with the media as an opportunity for evangelization. And they wagered that allowing people to meet the seminarians and to observe life at the College would, by and large, benefit both the seminary and the Church. As I listened to our men share their vocation stories, their memories of the Holy Father, and their hopes for the future of the Church, I knew that the Board had been right. Anyone could have described these past days from the point of view of sociology. But our seminarians helped the press corps to see things from the perspective of faith. And through the eyes of faith, these days took on a transcendent significance. After the Second Vatican Council emphasized the Church’s essential missionary character, Pope John Paul II labored under the conviction that it is not enough to possess the truth; we must also effectively Justin Cardinal Rigali addresses representatives of several media outlets in the central communicate it. In his 1989 Address to the courtyard of the North American College. Pontifical Commission for Social
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
Communications, the Pope said: “The Lord Jesus commanded his disciples to spread the Good News of salvation to the ends of the earth, and the Church must employ all the means at her disposal in reaching this goal.” It was in the spirit of that conviction that our seminarians allowed the media to ask them about John Paul II, as well as their own lives, their vocations, and their most deeply held commitments. So, why did the pope’s death command so much of the world’s attention? I was standing in St. Peter’s Square the night before the pope died when a woman explained to me why she was there. She said, “I feel closer to heaven tonight.” And then, looking up at the Pope’s windows, she told me, “I don’t think the Pope is going up to heaven to meet God. I think God is coming down here to take him by the hand.” In the end, that’s why hundreds of thousands of people rushed to Rome over the past few days. And that is also why so many of them felt compelled to ask questions. During his life, and even after his death, John Paul II somehow brought the whole world a little bit closer to God.
by Joseph Shimek Class of 2007 Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Cameramen and news anchors ready themselves for press conferences with the American Cardinals.
Eternal Word Television Network erected a media booth on the roof in front of the College Chapel. Their live broadcasts came from here.
Cardinal Rigali addresses the press in the days leading up to the Conclave.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
A Cardinal’s Thoughts on the Conclave An Interview with Roger Cardinal Mahoney Archbishop of Los Angeles Conducted on Sunday, April 17, 2005, the day before the opening of the Conclave which elected Benedict XVI as Pope
ith the immensely important decision of the selection of a new pontiff just days ahead, what is in your thoughts and prayers during this sede vacante period that you would want to share with Christ’s faithful?
As I looked around that audience hall all this past week at our gatherings, I said to myself, ‘The next Pope is sitting here. What row? Which one? The next Pope is sitting in this room!’ And so my prayer has been, especially to the Holy Spirit: show me the one you have chosen, show us… The next Pope has already been selected by God, there’s no question about that. It is the process of us to understand and, through the grace of the Spirit, to be able to point to the one that is being called. I’m reminded in this process very much of the Book of Samuel. Remember when Samuel is sent to anoint a new king of Israel, and he comes and he doesn’t know which of the sons it is? … The Lord says to him, you’re looking at the wrong things, the wrong characteristics… [and David is the one]… That Scripture has been a very important one to me. And also in the first chapter of Acts of the Apostles, when they’re trying to come up with a replacement for Judas and they have those criteria…but then they asked God to guide them, and they came up with two candidates and prayed about it and chose one… So I just think that’s how I’m feeling right now - that person is there, but I don’t know who it is yet, so we just have to see how it unfolds…God loves to surprise us, as we know. In recent history we have some very wonderful surprises: John XXIII, of course, John Paul II, John Paul I… So I’m very open to be surprised, too, because God knows the heart and knows the inner soul of each of the cardinals and knows who it is and which gifts and charisms He wishes to call forth. So I’m just relying on that. Lord, just point out the one! Point out the one!…
The next pope, whom you will help to select, will follow a man considered by many as one of the greatest popes in the history of the Church. What do you expect to see, as the Catholic faithful attempt to adapt to their new shepherd and his particular style of leadership? I think God gave us this particular pope, with his gifts, in this time of history to do a number of things, which he did: certainly speaking forcefully the truth of the Gospel, the emphasis on the dignity of the human person, not the State, that helped collapse Communism, and all of the things he has done – his travels, his ministry to
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
everybody - there’s no one like that. And so we have stepped aside. We’re not looking for a carbon copy. We’re looking for who is it that God wants for this period of time. Does God want a shorter papacy? Or a longer one, or what? That’s part of the discernment… We’ve just had, certainly, John Paul the Great… but what are the gifts we need now for this next chapter in the history of the Church?… It’s going to be hard for us - we’ve all said in the Mass for so long ‘John Paul our Pope’. It’s going to be a switch… I think people will adapt well to the new Holy Father, because they will see that this is the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ, and the one whom God has lifted up for us to be our visible leader of the universal Church. Interviewed by Michael McClane Diocese of Trenton Class of 2006
American Cardinals gathered at the North American College in the days preceding the Conclave. Above are pictured, left to right: Justin Cardinal Rigali, Adam Cardinal Maida, Edward Cardinal Egan, Roger Cardinal Mahoney, Francis Cardinal George, William Cardinal Keeler, and Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
A Day Never to be Forgotten Saying Farewell to a Follower of Christ who Witnessed the Power of the Cross
t’s a day we will never forget. That is how a Polish religious sister with whom I spoke summed up today’s funeral Mass of Pope John Paul II. “He was a great gift not only to Poland, but to the Church and to the whole world.” Her religious community had left their residence at 3:30 am this morning to attend the 10 am funeral. In contrast to the sadness they had Rev. Pablo Gadenz with His Holiness, John Paul II. felt earlier in the week, today they were radiant with joy. Together with a group of priests from the Casa Santa Maria, I left for the funeral at 5 am. In the streets near St. Peter’s, we found hundreds of pilgrims sleeping on the ground with blankets and sleeping bags. Most of them were from Poland, although I also encountered some Italians who had camped out close by so as not to miss the event. We had to work our way slowly through the crowd to the appropriate entrance to the Square. While we waited, I chatted with priests from other parts of Italy who had come to Rome for the funeral. After 7 am, the Italian security slowly began to allow people to enter certain sections of the Square, so that by 8:30, it was completely full, and soon the Via della Conciliazione was also full. In the crowd could be seen a host of flags of many nations – Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, France, Young people from all over the world slept on the street in Germany, Nigeria, Lebanon, Pakistan, India – and even one American flag carried by college students doing a semester of order to find a place at John Paul’s funeral. study in Italy. By far the most numerous flags, however, were the Polish ones. There were also many banners with short messages written in Polish and Italian. Our group spotted some of the U.S. Congressmen who were in attendance, including Catholic Congressmen Chris Smith and Michael Ferguson, both from my home state of New Jersey. The Senators arrived a short while later, and then, just before the funeral began, President and Mrs. Bush entered the area reserved for heads of state, together with the former Presidents and the Secretary of State. In his homily, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger used the Gospel reading from John 21:15-19, with the concluding words of Jesus to Peter, “Follow me,” to trace an outline of how the Pope had indeed followed Jesus during the various stages of his life as a priest, bishop, and pope. He concluded the homily with a beautiful image comparing the Pope’s last Easter blessing two weeks Millions of Polish pilgrims crowded Rome, many bringing Polish flags and banners from their hometowns. ago from the window of his apartment, with the thought that now
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
the Pope was blessing us from the “window” of the Father’s house in heaven. The day was one of contrasting emotions. Particularly moving for me and for many in the crowd was the conclusion, when the pallbearers slowly carried the wooden casket back into St. Peter’s Basilica for burial, stopping momentarily at the door so that the crowds, who were clapping loudly at that point, could have one last look. Many people were waving, as if to say farewell. For me and for many, many priests ordained in the last decade or so, the Pope was a great hero and an inspiration for our vocation. I recall first seeing the Pope at the World Youth Day event in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 1989. That formative experience ultimately led to my decision to enter the seminary. In my studies for the priesthood and as a young priest, like my contemporaries I read from the Pope’s philosophical works on the dignity of the human person, studied Approaching the Basilica, many pilgrims had waited in line for his encyclicals on moral theology and life issues, examined his series of weekly catecheses which ultimately prepared for the more than sixteen hours just to catch a last glimpse of their beloved Pontiff. new Catechism of the Catholic Church, and found inspiration in his writings on and devotion to the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary. But one text which has been especially moving for me is his apostolic letter on the Christian meaning of human suffering, Salvifici Doloris, in which he says that in suffering there is a “power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ” and unites him or her unto the Cross together with Mary. “[E]very form of suffering, given fresh life by the power of this Cross, should become no longer the weakness of man but the power of God,” the Pope says (#26). Pope John Paul lived out this teaching both through the words he proclaimed and his own sufferings which he endured so heroically. What a life! What service to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, what service to the whole human family, and what service to peace and all that is good. I pray that all those in attendance, including myself, but perhaps especially the many heads of state, may profit from the singular event which we witnessed today. by Fr. Pablo Gadenz Diocese of Trenton Casa Santa Maria
The line to view the remains of Pope John Paul II wound around many corners in the neighborhood of the Vatican.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
All in God’s Providence Four World Youth Days Along My Path to Priesthood
first saw John Paul II at World Youth Day in Denver. It was August of 1993, and I was set to begin my junior year of high school. The five hour drive from my home in Casper, Wyoming meant that hundreds from my parish could easily attend. During the Vigil before the closing Mass, I remember being surrounded by friends; we were nearly as interested in meeting other young people as we were in seeing the Pope. Still, I distinctly remember the Holy Father’s stern call to resist the culture of death. The challenge seemed a bit harsh. His words aggressively confronted my American culture and, though my pride was stung, his message stayed with me until I better understood its truth. Four years later I attended World Youth Day in Paris. The preceding year I had joined a Marian prayer group at my college, and my renewed faith prompted me to venture overseas to see John Paul II once again. I recall the Word Youth Day theme taken from the first chapter of John: “Teacher, where are you staying? Come and see.” In Paris I experienced for the first time the rich patrimony of the Church in Europe. I visited Notre Dame and Rue De Bac and even prayed with St. Therese of Lisieux whose ark-like reliquary had taken Steve Titus, Cheyenne ‘08 at his first World Youth Day in Denver in August 1993. her far outside her original cloister walls. At the closing Mass, John Paul II announced that St. Therese was to be made a Doctor of the Church! I felt particular excitement, both because I had just prayed with her and because it would occur on October 19th, my father’s birthday. The day after the final Mass I passed through a now quiet Paris to make one last stop. Entering Sacre Coeur, the hilltop Basilica where St. Therese had once prayed as a girl, I knelt in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament and made a deal with God. I simply and emotionally told Him, A picture taken moments after a safe return to the US from the “If you want me to be a priest, you have to take care of the Rome WYD trip. I'm with Fr. Andrew Duncan and Tim Monahan. details.” It was a prayer of uncertainty tinged with fear, but We were co-leaders of the pilgrimage. at its core was trust in His providence.
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
Graduating in 1999 with a Chemistry degree from Notre Dame, I pursued an interest in youth ministry and took a job at a parish in Douglas, Wyoming. The constant activity constituted on-the-job training, and the young pastor taught me volumes as he poured his life into the parish. That fall, A Jubilee Year pilgrimage took form. In short order I was helping to lead a group of 120 through France and Italy en route to join the youth of the world and the Pope—this time in Rome. Amidst an estimated two million at the closing Mass, I knew I was part of the universal Church assembled at the feet of Peter’s successor. John Paul asked the young people of the world to come to Rome for the Jubilee World Youth Day, and the world had responded. In the months following, vocational questions surfaced frequently, and after an 8 day retreat in December, I ended a multi-year relationship to better discern my potential priestly call. During the spring months, I gradually realized the true freedom God had given me. God was not trying to strong-arm me into seminary. He was asking me very gently if I would begin to tread the path to priesthood. The summer after my first year of seminary, I was assigned to assist with another World Steve Titus, and Marc Lenneman ‘06, in St. Peter’s Square during the Youth Day Pilgrimage for my Diocese. Though Conclave. Toronto 2002 was my fourth World Youth Day, it was my first as a seminarian. During the closing Mass I was touched as never before by these words of John Paul II. I knew then he was our father; he was my father. He is a father dearly missed. by Steven Titus Diocese of Cheyenne Class of 2008
“You are young, and the Pope is old, 82 or 83 years of life is not the same as 22 or 23. But the Pope still fully identifies with your hopes and aspirations. Although I have lived through much darkness, under harsh totalitarian regimes, I have seen enough evidence to be unshakably convinced that no difficulty, no fear is so great that it can completely suffocate the hope that springs eternal in the hearts of the young. You are our hope, the young are our hope.” —Pope John Paul II at WYD 2002 in Toronto SUMMER 2 0 0 5
A Pontifical Visit Welcoming Pope John Paul II Into Our Home
In the early evening of Oct. 6, 1978, I stood in St. Peter’s Square in Rome to receive the first blessing of the newly elected pope, John Paul II. I had just joined the faculty of my alma mater, the North American College. It was an amazing coincidence because when I left home to begin my studies for the priesthood in Rome 20 years before, I also stood in the same square to receive the first blessing of another new pope, the remarkable John XXIII who summoned the Second Vatican Council.
Above: Pope John Paul II preaches during Mass at the North American College. Left: John Paul II blesses the congregation as he processes into the Immaculate Conception Chapel. Below: Faculty members join the Holy Father during the celebration of Mass.
In 1979 I was made rector of the College. The seminarians very much were urging me to invite the pope to make a personal visit to the College. For such an invitation to be issued, I knew, some momentous occasion like the anniversary of our foundation had to prompt it. Having no such reason, I invented one. Pope John Paul II had paid his first memorable visit to the United States as pope in October of that year. I wrote to the pope afterward a personal letter and suggested he come and visit us as the “last stop” of his pilgrimage to the United States. He accepted. In fact, Rome being Rome, this created a new papal precedent to be followed thereafter; whenever the pope visited a nation having a college in Rome, he
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
by Kim J. Schreck, Diocese of Pittsburgh & Daniel Waldeck, Archdiocese of Denver Class of 2007
As a gift to the college, John Paul II planted a California sequoia tree outside the main entrance to the Chapel. The tree, as it stands now, can be seen in the photo below.
would include a visit to the national college as part of his itinerary. The Vatican selected the date of February 22, a national holiday in the United States observed as George Washington’s Birthday. February 22, 1980 was also ten years to the day since Pope Paul VI had visited the seminary. The Vatican always takes the long view of history. The visit lasted four hours. During those hours I introduced every single seminarian, priest doing graduate study, faculty member and lay worker to the pope – nearly 400 persons. After offering Mass in our chapel, the pope joined us for dinner in the refectory. During the meal he asked me many questions about the condition of the Church in the United States and about my impressions concerning the quality of theological education being given in Rome. In this relaxed atmosphere I felt I could ask the pope a question of my own. “How do you find time, now that you are pope, to do your own reading and writing?” I inquired. Being an author myself, I knew how hard it was to be deeply involved in ministry and do personal study and writing. He replied, “I usually do not take appointments until eleven in the morning. SUMMER 2 0 0 5
This gives me the earliest hours of the day to do my writing. It’s writing, now, more than reading, I admit.” This pope, among other accomplishments, was remarkable in the sheer volume of encyclical letters he wrote to the whole Church, as well as homilies, addresses and other communications, most of which he composed himself. I was truly impressed by his discipline. In doing my planning for the papal visit, I wanted to memorialize it in a dramatic way, if possible. What I did was to arrange for two California sequoia trees to be flown to Rome, one which I would present to the pope – for planting in the Vatican gardens, the other for the pope to plant on our grounds as a symbol of our spiritual unity. When the papal motorcade arrived at the chapel entrance, I led the pope over to the spot where he was invited to turn a spade of earth, planting the tree. He did so with vigor. This became the image communicated by the media across the United States. I was last in Rome in October 2003, for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the election of the pope. As usual, I checked on the sequoia and how it was doing. It is now a tall and still growing redwood tree. The last words of the pope to me as he concluded his visit around ten that night were, “Planting that tree was a good idea!”
Msgr. Charles Murphy walks with Pope John Paul II during the Holy Father’s visit to the North American College.
Msgr. Charles Murphy Rector from 1979 to 1984
The North American College community listens attentively as Pope John Paul II addresses them during his 1980 visit.
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
A Pastor’s Zeal The Memories of Msgr. Lawrence M. Purcell, Rector 1984-1990
very alumnus of a national seminary in the Eternal City has a personal relationship with the Bishop of Rome. The alumnus soon comes to appreciate the exceptional grace of being at least spiritually in the presence of the apostles, martyrs and popes who have gone before him. Pope John Paul II has now gone before us. We who were privileged to be in his presence liturgically, pastorally and personally remain deeply grateful. He exemplified what the North American College is all about in many ways. Three of these ways stand out in my experience as rector in the mid and late 1980’s. The Holy Father’s faith was rooted in a sense of the Church universal. His beliefs, shaped by a theological training that flowed from his acquired philosophical convictions, gave him an unparalleled confiJohn Paul II and Rev. Msgr dence as he fulfilled his Lawrence Purcell, Rector 1984- apostolic mission. Thirdly, 1990. his love of people made his selfless priestly service seem easy. There is a recognizable turning point when a seminarian or student priest begins to call the College home. It often coincides with his becoming aware that the Church is much more encompassing than he had previously experienced. Father Karol Wojtyla was deeply influenced by his Roman studies. Later, when participating in the Second Vatican Council, he learned from fellow bishops from around the world. His own extraordinary background influenced, in turn, the contributions he made to the work of the Council. Pope John Paul knew what it is like to leave home. Perhaps his rapport with seminarians came at least
in part from his encouraging them in difficult times. The remarkable energy and pastoral zeal that characterized Pope John Paul ignited the same qualities in everyone who witnessed them. Youth seem to crave heroes, and the Holy Father’s natural sense of leadership made him a personal hero to most if not all of us. There was no hint of his pursuing a career or seeking ecclesiastical honors. He did not need any of that because he was totally at ease with himself. He exuded a sense of confidence. The clear focus of his mission as an apostle, that is, his sense of being one sent to others, surely came from the high priority he gave to his own prayer time. Pope John Paul II held the ministerial priesthood in high esteem. He respected each and every priest. He also expected a great deal from every one of us. For him, it was all about love. The affection he was given by the multitudes was their love in response to his love as a truly holy father.
Msgr. Purcell and seminarians from the North American College greet Pope John Paul II during an audience.
We knew from countless personal experiences what it was like for the Holy Father to be energized by people. He wanted to be where the action of the Holy Spirit was at any given moment. His way of serving others as a priest made us want to be better priests.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
This Most Priestly of Popes A Former Rector Explains the Lasting Legacy of John Paul II in Seminary Formation
o be involved in the ministry of priestly formation during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II was to participate in a historic work in progress. Not since the 16th century’s Council of Trent have seminaries benefited from the reviews and revisions that have marked the last quarter century, beginning with the documents of the Second Vatican Council. It was John Paul II who challenged the world of priestly formation to measure up to the Council’s expectations. And the effort continues. For fifteen years following Vatican II’s close in 1965, many seminaries experimented and introduced policies with little solid rationale: seminary rules of life were virtually abandoned, academics were depreciated in favor of “pastoral experiences”, and novel theologies and models of priesthood were introduced. Numbers of seminarians dropped precipitously. Action was called for. Several years after his election, Pope John Paul II called on the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Seminaries and Institutes of Study) to conduct an Apostolic Visitation of seminaries, beginning with the United States. The result was a widespread restoration of sorely needed Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, rector of the College standards. The October 1990 Synod of Bishops was given over to the dis- from 1990-1994. cussion of priestly formation, resulting in the Holy Father’s Apostolic Letter, Pastores Dabo Vobis. This is a historic document whose insights and counsels will guide the formation of priests for many generations to come. Again, in the wake of the recent tragic priestly scandals and at the request of our American hierarchy, Pope John Paul II directed the Congregation for Catholic Education to conduct another seminary Visitation to review the human, moral and spiritual formation of future priests. As a seminary rector from 1985 through 1997 in New York’s Dunwoodie and at our North American College, I shared the challenges faced by seminary formators across the US: to capture and impress upon our seminary communities the profound vision of priesthood so clearly reflected in John Paul’s annual Holy Thursday Letters, his countless allocutions and other writings and most especially, in his own, often wordless priestly witness. It was my special privilege to help lead to the altar many seminarians who traced their call to priesthood to the insights and example of that most priestly of popes. Their priesthood along with mine and many others’ will long be indelibly imbued with John Paul II’s challenge to priestly holiness and learning. by Most Rev. Edwin F. O’Brien Archbishop for the Military Services, U.S.A. Chairman of the Board of Governors
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
Dolan A Former Rector.....
SPRING 2 0 0 5
Between Two Popes
ai; senza paura! Serving Midnight Mass with (“Go; don’t be afraid!”). The John Paul II and Cardinal Master of Ceremonies strongly whispered these Ratzinger words to me while gesturing towards the altar. It was time for the Deacon to elevate the chalice of Precious Blood for the Holy The procession into St. Peter’s Basilica for Midnight Mass 2003. Father, who was main celebrant for the Mass. “Who’s afraid?” I thought as I ascended the marble steps to the papal altar. Having already served as Deacon for several months at that point, I knew what was required of me. I knew the rites for Mass; they are the same everywhere that Mass is offered. Of course, in this case, the setting was different! It was Christmas Midnight Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, at the papal altar over the tomb of Saint Peter, alongside Pope John Paul. Upon arriving at the altar, though, I perhaps did experience a twinge of fear. One of the cardinals concelebrating the Mass was standing right next to the Holy Father. There was no room for me to slip in between them so as to elevate the chalice. Again the words came from behind me, “Senza paura!” As I forced myself between the two men, nudging the cardinal gently to the side, I realized that the cardinal was none other than Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. What a moment! There I was, holding the chalice with our Eucharistic Lord, standing over the tomb of Peter, and flanked by two of my heroes, Pope John Paul and Cardinal Ratzinger! As significant as the moment was when it first occurred, it took on a new importance for me last month when the world heard the words proclaimed from Saint Peter’s Square, “Habemus Papam”, “Iosephum Ratzinger”! Cardinal Ratzinger was now Pope Ratzinger! Many of us had read and meditated upon the Pope’s writings and attended Masses offered by him at the nearby German College, when he was a cardinal. Some of us had met him when he celebrated the Ordination Mass for our College’s fourth year class in 1999. Fr. Michael DeAscanis assists at Midnight Mass with Pope John Paul II At the top of the list of my cherished memories and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger during his deacon year in 2003. here at the College is that moment from Midnight Mass of 2003, standing shoulder to shoulder with Pope John Paul, to be remembered in history as “The Great”, and his good friend who was to be his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. What a blessing it was for me to stand between two popes! by Rev. Michael Anthony DeAscanis Archdiocese of Baltimore Class of 2004
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
He Lived as He Prayed The Spiritual Gift of Pope John Paul II
hen Pope John Paul died this spring, most journalists concentrated on his personal charisma. Still, there remained a feeling in our hearts that something far more important drew us to this great man. Our own Fr. Frederick Miller claims he knows what it was. Fr. Miller has served as a spiritual director here at the North American College and taught at the Angelicum for a number of years. This summer he is leaving us to return to Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD to accept a new position. Before he left, I sat down with him and discovered that John Paul’s spirituality was the link that pulled our hearts to his. Relaxing in the lounge after cena, I began by asking him what made John Paul’s spirituality special. “It isn’t quite accurate to say that he had a distinctive spirituality,” Fr. Miller told me. “He lived the spirituality of the Church in a powerful way. What made him special was that he emphasized the fact that the spiritual life brings perfect fulfillment of the human person.” He added that John Paul’s writings often revolve around the Second Vatican Council’s maxim that we can only know who we are if we know who Christ is – in other words, it is Christ who reveals each of us to ourselves. John Paul intended from the very beginning for his papacy to center around man’s relationship with Christ. In fact, John Paul’s first encyclical was titled The Redeemer of Man, where he wrote that “The Redeemer of man, Jesus Christ, is the center of the universe and of history.” Even while the focus of John Paul’s spirituality was always on Christ, it was clear that he had a special devotion to Mary as well. For Fr. Miller, the Holy Father’s motto and coat of arms best express Mary’s place in his spirituality. “Totus tuus – I am all yours and everything I have is yours, Jesus, through Mary your holy mother,” ran the motto. “It consisted of a cross, within a shield,” he told me. “There was an ‘M’ (for Mary) in the lower right hand corner, but the lower left side was empty. That empty panel is for every disciple of Christ, who is asked by the Lord to take Mary
for his own mother, just like St. John [the beloved disciple] did.” But at the heart of it all was the Eucharist. “The mystery of the Holy Eucharist was the center of John Paul’s spiritual life,” Fr. Miller told me. “I have had the experience two or three times,” he said with obvious reverence, “of being at the Pope’s morning Masses. It was a profoundly moving experience to see him offering Mass with such love, devotion and faith. It was as if he saw our Lord in the Eucharist and was conforming his own sufferings to those Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass at of Christ.” the College in 1980. According to Catholic teaching, priests are called to be “other Christs.” Catholic spirituality, as opposed to spirituality in general, Fr. Miller told me, “is the work of God, the Father, drawing us to Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.” “It is this intimacy with God,” he concluded, “which leads to love and service of our neighbor.” As I completed my interview with this beloved seminary spiritual director and promised him prayers as he makes this transition, I was able to see why he considered John Paul’s spirituality to be so central. We could all see that John Paul’s spirituality was not something relegated to the chapel, but instead gave form and meaning to everything he did and said. If we want to see what made John Paul the man he was, this is where we must start our search. The reason why so many millions loved John Paul was that he was deeply spiritual – in a Catholic way. by Franz S. Klein Diocese of La Crosse Class of 2008
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
The Smoke, the Square, and the Suspense Witnessing the Election of a New
The white smoke pours out of the chimney erected atop the Sistine Chapel, announcing the election of a new Pope.
t was indeed a gaudium magnum – a great joy! – to be present in St. Peter’s Square to welcome our new Pope Benedict on the day of his election.
I went down to St. Peter’s early in the evening to join some of my brother seminarians, a few of whom had brought guitars and drums to sing praise-and-worship while awaiting the smoke. During our time of prayer, many other people in the Square came over and joined us. All of a sudden smoke began to pour out of the Sistine Above: Joe Previtali, (far right) in St. Peter’s Square with Chapel chimney. While the color of the smoke was uncertain at brother seminarians immediately following the election of first, the anticipation increased as it became clear that the smoke Pope Benedict XVI. was white. After about five minutes, the crowd erupted into a Below: Seminarians, sisters, and faithful from all over the huge roar as the bells began to move. The explosion of emotion world cheer as the new Pope presents himself to the world. was much like what one would experience during an exciting moment at a sporting event. While we waited for the announcement, we sang praise to the Lord for our new Pope, whose identity we would know shortly. When the gentiluomini came out onto the center balcony of the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica to close the curtains, the crowd roared with energetic acclaim. Onto the balcony emerged Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, the Cardinal Proto-Deacon. He greeted his “dear brothers and sisters” in five languages, and then declared the solemn announcement of the new Bishop of Rome.
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
When he said “Dominum Josephum”, we had a clue as to who it might be. And when the name “Ratzinger” was pronounced, there was pandemonium the likes of which I have never seen. We waited eagerly for the procession of the new pope Benedict XVI onto the balcony to greet the crowd. The Church had gotten her man, and we were ready to give him what has now become a Pope’s welcome. And then out he came. For most of us, it was the first time we had seen anyone besides John Paul II in the Pope’s white zucchetto. Yet there was the familiar German face of Joseph Ratzinger, a humble servant of the Lord, as he rightly called himself in his address. With our thoughts still with his predecessor, Benedict graciously acknowledged his close friend, “the great Pope John Paul II.” The Church cheered in approval of this Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, greets the world noble salutation for our dear departed JP II. for the first time as the successor to Peter. Benedict then assured us that he has entrusted himself to the Lord and to His Mother and to the prayers of the Christian faithful. There was a serene humility about him. Since his election, this virtue seems to be that which strikes people most strongly. He lives completely independent of the fact that he is often the center of the world’s attention. He would be the same disciple of Jesus Christ, whether a parochial vicar in a Bavarian parish or a professor of theology in a Catholic university or the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. His choice of the name Benedict is also a great insight into our new Holy Father. St. Benedict, the patron saint of Europe, is largely responsible for the preservation of the great heritage of Christendom. Pope Benedict, too, will seek to preserve and strengthen the Catholic faith and culture of Western civilization. In addition, the centrality of Jesus Christ in the Rule of St. Benedict will be the keystone of the message of this pontificate: life only makes sense when it is lived firstly, lastly, and always for Jesus Christ. After his brief opening address, our new Pope intoned the Urbi et Orbi Blessing. As we knelt before him and made the sign of the cross, many were moved to tears. The joyous celebration of this gift from God to His Church gives us the opportunity to reflect more deeply on the richness of our Catholic faith. What a precious gift is that faith!
by Joseph Previtali Archdiocese of San Francisco Class of 2008
Joyful seminarians gather for a photo minutes after the announcement of the new Pope, Benedict XVI.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
A Cardinal Reflects.... We must thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to live through these events. Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York and North American College Class of 1958, supplied comments and reflections to the North American College magazine about the recent events surrounding the election of a new supreme pontiff. The Cardinal also took part in a panel discussion in the College Auditorium on Saturday, April 23, 2005, along with four other cardinals: Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Roger Cardinal Mahoney, Justin Cardinal Rigali, and Francis Cardinal George. Speaking to the seminarians gathered in the Auditorium, Edward Cardinal Egan invited us to keep this experience of witnessing the election of a new pope “ever in our hearts and memories.” It is a great grace to see the pope up close, and we at the College are grateful for this tremendous opportunity. But the experience of being in Rome during the election of a new pope is a special blessing. Cardinal Egan spoke about all of this and added that this experience especially will make it easier for him to preach and live the Gospel. And he told the seminarians about this moment: “Seize it, pray about it, and thank the Lord for it.” He told us to put all this wonder into the context of our own lives. We will be better priests, and our people will be better served. Honest about the grief he felt over John Paul’s passing, the Cardinal remarked, “I never thought that anyone could ever take the place of John Paul II.” But he also exhorted the seminarians, saying, “You will pretty soon be Benedict’s men.” The Cardinal said that when he finished here at the College in 1958, as he was going back to Chicago when Pius XII died, he remembers thinking, “No one else can be Pope, can they?” But we must move on, he said. All five supreme pontiffs that he has lived under brought their own particular gifts, and gave them generously. “The next successor of Saint Peter will do the same.” And the Cardinal spoke very positively about Benedict XVI. If kindness is an attribute people will demand from us, then the new pope is an excellent model for us. The Cardinal hopes our kindness will increase by watching the Pope. And he added, “Love being a priest, a parish priest. That’s where you touch the people. And be kind.” At another point while reflecting on these momentous days in Rome, Cardinal Egan said that he was especially moved by the presence of young people who “give me great encouragement for the future. The Church needs to speak to the youth of the world as powerfully as possible.” And he added that we must not be afraid in this time of transition: “Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, is always with His Church.” He added, “My words at this time are exhortations to confidence in the Lord. He is with us.” by Michael McClane Diocese of Trenton Class of 2006
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
Happiness from Him Alone A Parish Priest Shares the Source of his Joy
’ve been a priest for the past 35 years, and my life has been boringly simple. But, above all, I’ve been extremely happy as a priest. On the evening of March 3, 2005, at the invitation of Fr. Richard Tomasek, SJ, the Head Spiritual Director for the College, four of the 28 priests of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education gathered in a classroom with the class of First Year theologians to share with them the relationship of their prayer to their priestly ministry. The four priests were Fr. Richard Curci (Greensburg, PA), Fr. Peter Kovarik (Rapid City, SD), Fr. Kevin Sepe (Boston, MA) and myself. Once again, I wanted to share with those seminarians the happiness God had afforded me through my years as a priest; and my greatest wish for any newly ordained priest (as my associate is) or any seminarian is that he be afforded by God that same gift of happiness. What I did not share on that occasion was the death of both of my parents within two years of my priestly ordination; my bouts with heart disease; the many “dark nights of the soul” spent wondering what God was doing to me; or the many mistakes and misjudgments that I have made through my years as a priest. Yet all of these pale into insignificance when I allow the powerful love of God and His faithful presence in my life to take first place in my heart, through daily prayer and the celebration of Holy Mass. The other three priests with me on that evening with the seminarians shared jointly another very powerful and important point: be kind, be kind, be kind to God’s people! Unfortunately, in the past several years, our Catholic people in the United States have been scandalized by the sexual abuse of parishioners by the clergy. And how sad! Yet, another “scandal” is suffered by our people many times because of priests who are severely and abusively unkind to people – treating them and/or their problems and needs as unimportant, and often speaking to them with rudeness and a condescending attitude. The proof of the importance of kindness is found when people beg for the return of their wayward priest because he was so kind to them. The people we are called to serve, and their many needs, are the “stuff ” of our prayer each day. At Mass, when we pour that simple drop of water in that chalice of wine, we remind ourselves that the water is our people and we; we want to be changed into the wine (as the water is) so that we can become the Sacred Blood of Christ – Christ Himself! The evening that we four priests spent with those seminarians was a joy! Our assessment of them was twofold: first, their hearts are so good and filled with an openness/docility to learn and grow in the Lord; and, secondly, they have our respect because they are willing to return to and to serve a Church in the United States that has suffered much and is continuing to suffer. We look forward to their return to the States so that we can call them “brother priests” – who are happy!
by Rev. Gilbert J. Dutel Diocese of Lafayette Institute for Continuing Theological Education 2005
Fr. Dutel greets his parishoners at the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Scott, Louisiana.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
Quo Vadis? All Roads Lead from Rome as Members of the Seminary Faculty Set Out on Diverse Paths of Ministry
or some of the richest experiences in Rome one need not go beyond the walls of the College. Some of the most variegated personalities, best senses of humor, and most generous witnesses of the presence of Christ live here among us on the faculty. Those faculty who will be leaving will be leaving us a bit poorer, as they return to ministry to teach in the United States, to enter religious life, or to go home to Left to right: Rev. Frederick Miller, Rev. Msgr. Giuseppe Barbieri, Rev.Vincent Tobin, OSB, Rev. Msgr. Steven Raica, and Rev. Msgr. Daniel Thomas. the monastery to rediscover one’s life-breath. Besides advising students of the College during his last three years in Rome, Fr. Vincent Tobin, OSB, has been affectionately known for his courses in Greek at the Gregorian University - a rite of passage for students at the Greg - and for subtly chiseling the men of the College into good orators and homilists. Besides avoiding the emphasis of prepositions when speaking, what is his secret? “Prayer. And cultivating a culture of Scripture. Living and breathing it so that your heart becomes the heart of Christ and your words the words of Christ. Preachers must be coherent, authentic witnesses of the power of Christ.” We will miss the swish of Fr. Vincent’s Benedictine robes and the pitter-patter of his sandals. Fr. Frederick Miller, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, also departs
Left: Rev. Msgr Kevin McCoy, Rector of the College, presents a gift to each of the departing faculty members. Right: Rev. Msgr. Daniel Thomas delivers a speech to the community on what it means to live in, and then leave, Rome.
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
from us this year, to join the faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary to teach courses in theology. He returns “excited to go back to teaching.” He leaves the College wanting “to be remembered as someone who brought people to Christ. As someone who is remembered only in Christ.” And he will be. Returning home to Philadelphia is Msgr. Daniel Thomas, a veritable veteran of the College. He returns after a breathtaking 15 years working in the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. As a spiritual director he has helped to form many generations of priests. Evidently joyful about this new phase in his life, he confessed to me as he leaves, “I hope that in some small way I have helped them to become the priest that I know I myself should be.” Msgr. Steven Raica, Superior of the Casa Santa Maria for six years, is heading home to resume his position as chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing. A delightful man to speak with, he is happily waiting to share his experiences of Rome, the Holy Father, and Italy with the flock back home. He spoke fondly and profoundly to me of his passion for sharing the Gospel message, his hope to give meaning to people’s lives through Christ, and his affection for John Paul II, the “great witness.” In the midst of all this, another faculty member will be making an even more life-changing move, into religious life in the south of Italy. After many seasoned years working around the globe in the Secretariat of State, piloting through the thick jungles in Africa, being treated to several courses of monkey, riding shotgun in a jeep through rural Columbia, and then being assigned to work in the Prefecture of the Papal Household, Msgr. Giuseppe Barbieri has responded to God’s invitation to work even more intimately with him as a Passionist Father. He begins his novitiate immediately this summer. He will be missed for his warmth, humility, and depth, and remembered as a man always seeking the face of God. Cultured minds, personalities cut with profound experiences, the numerous artifacts of men of faith and wisdom, and the witness of men long gone and still living can all be found in the great cosmopolitan diversity of Rome. The men of the North American College have been graced to have such treasure within their own walls. by Dylan George Mason Corbett Diocese of Providence Class of 2008
Rev. Frederick Miller enjoys the farewell banquet with some of his spiritual directees.
SUMMER 2 0 0 5
C O N O M O
O R N E R
“Cleverly done! You too are an industrious and reliable servant” (Mt 25:23)
Capital Campaign: A Vision for the Future
e have been so blessed here at the North American College! We are the beneficiaries of very generous and far-sighted people! When we think about the great gifts the College has been given, Blessed Pius IX comes to mind. In 1859, thanks to this Pope’s generosity and vision, the Pontifical North American College came into existence. He gave a 17th Century Convent and its property in the heart of Rome to the Bishops of the United States so that priests who would eventually serve in the missions in the territorial United States could be trained here in Rome, at the center of Catholicism, near the Successor of St. Peter. Later, the Bishops of the United States knew that they needed more space to accommodate the growing faith, and number of seminarians, in the US. Therefore they committed themselves to another act of extraordinary generosity - the building of the new seminary on the Gianicolo. The construction of the new seminary building was the second largest post-World War II building project in Rome. The building, blessed personally by Pope Pius XII, was built at a cost of $4,000,000 — 1950 dollars that is! The money to build this new campus was raised under the leadership of then rector Archbishop Martin J. O’Connor with the generous assistance of many cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, religious communities and lay faithful in the United States. The time has again come for a new generation of generosity and vision. The Bishops on the Board of Governors have decided, after consulting many of our generous lay benefactors and alumni, that we will begin a capital campaign called “Vision For The Future”. As Monsignor McCoy, our rector, said in the announcement of this $25,000,000 campaign, this campaign will “ensure the continued success of our mission: the formation of holy and faithful priests whose deep experience of the Church Universal will make them better able to care for the pastoral and spiritual needs of the Lord’s flock in the United States.” Our seminarians and priests who are being formed or are continuing their formation both need and deserve our prayerful and financial support. The campaign will focus on repairing and upgrading the two campuses. Among other projects, it will include at the seminary campus installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning on the main floor of the building including the Chapel and refectory, replacement of corridor floors, thermal windows throughout the building, re-pointing of exterior brickwork and renovation of athletic fields. At the Casa Santa Maria it will include replacement of the stucco coating the exterior walls of the building and installation of thermal windows, rewiring of electrical circuitry, and upgrading of student priests’ bathrooms. Additionally, we will set aside funds for restoration and preservation of some of our historical artworks and for the upgrading of our information technology for both campuses. Finally, the campaign will aim to double our modest endowment in order to keep the College “competitively” priced with seminaries at home in the United States. Even at this early stage of the campaign, great generosity has already been shown. Among other gifts, a married couple has pledged the first million dollar gift, and two archdioceses have pledged a half million dollars each! We not only hope that all those associated with the College will give a sacrificial gift to assist, but we depend upon it! The future of the Church’s ministers depends upon it. We know that a positive campaign will have a direct effect in enriching the ecclesial lives of our Catholic faithful in America and beyond for generations to come. You will hear more about the campaign in upcoming editions of the North American College magazine and in other mailings too. Please begin to pray for the success of the campaign and for our generous benefactors. Also please pray for our student seminarians and priests, as well as the faculty and staff, that our “hearts may be steadfast.” by Rev. Msgr. James Checchio ’92, C’97 Diocese of Camden Vice Rector for Administration
Pontifical North American College M A G A Z I N E
EV E L O P M E NT
F F I C E
“He is like a man building a house...upon rock” (Lk 6:48)
US Airways – a Great Way to the Eternal City
ntil the 1960’s, new seminarians traveled to Rome by boat. Subsequently they flew from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Since August of 2000, every class of New Men has arrived via US Airways Flight 2 from Philadelphia. The dedicated airline staff has been a continuing help to many at the College ever
For the New Men Send-Off, the US Airways staff arranges for a tour room, so that the seminarians arriving from all over the country can meet one another for the first time in a quiet area at the airport. All are grateful for the sandwiches and sodas donated by the local Knights of Columbus Council 4215. Then Tony Antunes, US Airways Sales Manager, leads the group down to the departure gate in Philly’s brand new international terminal. This year Tony went above and beyond the call of duty when one of the seminarians realized that he left his passport at home. Although his parents could drive it to his hometown airport, it would not make it in time for the daily 6:10 pm flight to Rome. While the rest of the class was boarding, Tony called his wife, Fernanda, who said, “Sure, bring him home for dinner and he can stay with us till tomorrow’s flight.” The next day Tony even took the seminarian on a tour of Philadelphia, including the Archdiocesan Office where they were able to see alumnus Justin Cardinal Rigali! A few weeks later, the seminarians, priests and US Airways Rome staff had their (now) annual barbeque at the College. The folks at the ticket counters and gates enjoyed being able to talk over burgers and chips with familiar faces that they had greeted at the airport. Every spring they also come out to support the Rector’s Dinner. Every November, Tony and other US Airways colleagues in Philadelphia join us for the NAC Umiltà Awards in Washington, D.C. Over the years, US Airways has been happy to assist several bishops and priests, whether solo or US Airways Sales Manager Tony Antunes (far right) with Jim Nicholson (center), former ambassador of the United States to the Holy See. with a group of pilgrims, and many have also seen U.S. ambassadors choosing US Airways flights. Countless pilgrims have enjoyed their Airbus A330 plane, which has two-four-two seat configuration. Thankfully all the passengers have their own individual video screens, so that they can have their choice of movies, TV shows, music or sleep. Many of our seminarians and priests take advantage of the special airfares that US Airways has set up for the College. Luckily the airline is happy to extend these rates (which apply from anywhere in the U.S. to Rome) to our alumni and supporters, as it did for the 2003 NAC Alumni Rome Reunion. Just call the US Airways ticket office in Philadelphia at the number below and tell them that you are a friend of the College! So if you try US Airways to Rome and see a man in a collar on the plane, please ask him if he might be headed over to the North American College.
US Airways Philadelphia
by Tricia Lloyd Development Office
ticket office: 215-568-4102 SUMMER 2 0 0 5
The bells of the North American College, which call the seminarians together to worship their Creator.
T h e Po n t i f i c a l
North American College 3211 Fourth Street, Northeast Washington DC 20017-1194 For more information about the North American College, or to learn about opportunities for memorial gifts, contact Tricia Lloyd at our Washington, DC, Office of Development: Tel: (202) 541-5411 / Fax: (202) 722-8804 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.pnac.org
NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID LEONARDTOWN, MD PERMIT NO. 50