Monday, October 20, 2014

Visit to St. John XXIII Tower

Today I was blessed to visit the tower in the Vatican Gardens located in the western part.  It was built in the 8th century as a vantage point to spot invaders during the years which the Vatican was often under attack.  It was remodeled by Pope John XXIII in the 1960's to be his private apartments.  He only stayed there about a year or so.  Then, Pope John Paul II temporarily moved there in 1979 while the Papal apartments were being renovated.  
Since then it has been the place which the Pope has hosted various VIPs like Patriarchs as well as President George W. Bush.  Normally the Pope greats guests in his private library in the Apostolic Palace.  
Today, the tower is used by the Secretariat for the Economy of the Vatican.  Cardinal Pell, the former Archbishop of Sydney Australia, was appointed by Pope Francis to overhaul the Vatican banks in the wake of all the trouble.  I know his priest secretary, Fr. Mark Withoos, and he invited me over to show me around.  
Attached are the pictures.  
This is a shot of the outside which I found online.


Here I am on the roof with St. Peters dome in the background.




Looking in the front door.  Pretty sweet!  3 sets of doors.  
The view in the main lobby with the papal seal of John XXIII on the floor.  Notice he has a tower in his seal.
A Picture of me with Cardinal Pell.  His Eminence is a very kind man to take a few minutes to say hello and pose for a picture with some seminarian from Michigan.  Pray for him and the work he is undertaking.  They are very busy.  



God bless you all.  I thanked God in the chapel for such a blessing which could only be possible because of so much generosity and support from back home.  Thank you all for your prayers.  Know of mine as well.  
Ave Maria!  
Chris


Monday, September 29, 2014

Safe and sound

The group of friends and family from the diocese have arrived in Rome today. Everyone made is safe and sound. Notice I said "everyone" and not "everything". We had some missing bags, but we're hopeful that by this evening everything missing will make it to the hotel. At least we can hope!

This afternoon I met them at the Coliseum in time for lunch. We were able to find some good pizza. I think my Granny really likes Italian pizza, although she admitted it is different than "our pizza"

It was a great day. It was so good to see everyone here, especially my family. Everyone was really exhausted after the flight, but after a good night of sleep they'll be ready for a big day tomorrow.

The highlight today was Mass. To begin our pilgrimage in prayer, Fr. Matthew Cowan celebrated Mass for the group this afternoon at St. Peter in Chains Church - where the chains that held St. Peter in prison are venerated.  What a great way to start our pilgrimage! And it was a good coincidence because I remembered today that St. Peter in Chains Church is the titular church of Cardinal Wuerl who will be ordaining my class to the diaconate. Pretty cool.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Retreat into the Silence

A view of Rocca di Papa
As my ordination to the diaconate approaches rapidly, I had the wonderful privilege of spending the last seven days in retreat. My class traveled to Rocca di Papa, a mountaintop village overlooking Rome, for our canonical retreat. The Church wisely requires her candidates for Holy Orders to make a retreat in silence in immediate preparation for ordination asking the Lord for the grace to live faithfully and fruitfully diaconal ministry. Thanks everyone for the prayers. Through the Scriptures and daily Mass, in the silence, in the fresh mountain air, and in the natural beauty of God's creation it was really wonderful to once again hear the Lord's call. I was guided through the retreat by a young Jesuit priest from Slovenia. It was awesome to have his insight into the retreat, the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, and his own knowledge and devotion to our beloved Ven. Bishop Baraga. I thought of you all back in the diocese often during the retreat as I meditated on the ordination rite in particular, which calls the deacon to be a man of charity following the Lord's example "who came not to be served but to serve." Know of my prayers for you all in these grace-filled days and I ask for your prayers for me and my 42 other classmates who will be ordained on Thursday, October 2nd in Rome.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In Faithfulness

On Saturday evening, I made the Profession of Faith and took the Oath of Fidelity in public witness to my desire to hold and teach the Faith of the Catholic Church and to maintain always communion with the whole Church, the bishops and the Pope.

This is the final public act before I process into St. Peter's Basilica in two weeks time to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the diaconate, along with 42 other classmates. The last sort of 'official' thing that I must do before ordination is make a week long retreat, which will be from Sunday Sept. 21st until Saturday Sept. 27. Please for me and my classmates during that week of prayer and silence.

It was a pretty awesome moment, on the vigil of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, to be placed, so to speak, at the foot of the Cross and profess in faith -- Credo -- I believe. I believe in one God - the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. What a grace to be able to stand up and to publicly make that profession in these grace-filled days of final preparation before my ordination.

I was also blessed because our new bishop, Bishop Raica, was able to be present. He took time out of the busy 'baby Bishop school' to witness this event.

The whole thing caused me to pause and to reflect on the gift of faith. I thought of how I've received the gift of faith and how faith has been passed on from generation to generation. The bible I used for the oath was a graduation gift from my mom. The faith that we have comes from God, but is handed on in a continuous line of tradition, from the apostles to the disciples, from parent to child. How blessed I have been to have been raised by faith-filled parents in a faith-filled parish community, in a faith-filled diocese. My thoughts and prayers during these days turn to you all, as I prepare to lay my life down in service to the whole People of God, but especially in the Diocese of Gaylord.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

BACK TO WORK

Hello Diocese of Gaylord, 

The seminarians are back at seminary and back to work.  It is good to return but sad to have to leave our beloved diocese.  It was such a great revitalization to be back with all of you for the summer.
This post will be short because all I ask is for your prayers for all of us, but especially for Tyler Bischoff who is preparing for ordination to the deaconate this coming October.  

Know of our prayers for you.  
Thank you so much for all your support.  

Yours in Jesus through Mary.
Christopher Jarvis

Venerable Baraga, Pray for us!