Sunday, November 25, 2012


The seminarians here at the North American College brought Thanksgiving to Rome on Thursday with turkey, football and pie.  The day started early in the morning with the third annual road race called the Turkey Trot.  It is run around an entire country, Vatican City, and it was won for the second year in a row by Gaylord's own, Tyler Bischoff.  Congratulations Tyler!


After some breakfast and relaxation it was time to take to the field.  The new men vs. the old men.  The old men have not lost the spaghetti bowl for many years and again they took it to us new men.  But when all was said and done everyone had a great time and agreed that the game was a great way to come together as brothers and grow in support of each other; plus how can you have thanksgiving without football.  As you can see in the picture to the left, the old men have us pinned pretty deep on this particular play.  I think we stopped them so I got pumped up.  Ok, I have to tell the truth, they scored. 

That evening everyone gathered for Holy Mass followed by Thanksgiving dinner.  All the seminarians from each diocese in Michigan sat together along with those from Minnesota.  On the menu was pumpkin ravioli, turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, and even pumpkin pie.  It was a great day and really helped the seminarians here in Rome to feel a little closer to each of you back home.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all and have a blessed feast of Christ the King.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

In Memory Of...

Thought I'd share a few pictures I took at Mass the other day. Msgr. Gallagher, a priest of our diocese who works at the Vatican, celebrated Mass for us at the 'Altar of the Tomb' in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica. Msgr. Gallagher offered the Holy Mass in memory of Bishop Cooney. It was November 15th, one month after Bishop Cooney's passing. I learned this summer in my time at the Italian parish about this beautiful custom in Italy of offering a memorial Mass for the recently departed on the one month anniversary. They sort of celebrate the 'trigesima' Mass as a second funeral. It is an opportunity for everyone to renew their prayers for the recently deceased. 

The Mass was concelebrated by Msgr. Jerry Vinke, a spiritual director at the NAC and a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, and a student priest, Fr. Brandon Bernhard from the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. Deacon Matthew Furgiuele served as the deacon for the Mass. Matthew Cowan served as an acolyte and I lectored. Seminarians from Michigan and a visiting family friends of Msgr. Vinke joined in participating in the Mass. 

Msgr. Gallagher offered a few reflections on the life of Bishop Cooney during the homily. Here are few quotes I remembered from the homily:

"How beautiful it is that today we have the opportunity to celebrate this holy Mass in rememberance of the life and service of  Bishop Cooney, a successor of the Apostles, here at the tomb of Blessed Peter, the prince of the Apostles."

"Bishop Cooney witnessed to us during these past few years an important lesson about the Kingdom of God; that is that in as much as the Kingdom of God is realized here on earth, how much more ought we earn for the Kingdom of God in heaven. This life isn't the last word. Bishop Cooney knew this in faith and showed us this by his life." 
It was a really beautiful Mass. Dcn. Matthew, Matt, Chris and I are fortunate to have Msgr. Gallagher here with us. It was tough not being able to be in Gaylord for the funeral and everything. But this Mass really helped us to be united with you all back home in praying for Bishop Cooney and giving God thanks for his life and ministry which has touched us all in some way. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mary holding the Infant Jesus in the woods

I just went for a hike in the woods of the Josephinum behind Lake George and I looked up and there was the Blessed Mother holding the Infant Jesus. I have been looking for a place to have a statue of the Blessed Mother in the woods because it is so peaceful and right behind me is a creek so it is perfect.
This is not actually a statue but a tree that fell down but it is still nice to look up and see the Blessed Mother holding Jesus. Also I did see a 8 point buck and a 4 point buck  :-) Have a good day and let us pray that the Blessed Mother will help Americans become aware of human life from conception to natural death and that she will protect this great country from all who hate us as she did so well with the Infant Jesus.  


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Know that all of you back home are very much in the prayers of the seminarians.  May the Blessed Mother cover the United States with her mantle this day of the general election.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us.