Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
The brothers have all arrived safely by way of the care of our faithful father, Fr. Scott Carl! We closed our first day with gelato in honor of our Mother on this great solemnity. What a start.
Already Rome feels like home. Sure, the culture is different, and it doesn’t feel like the US of A–but it’s home. The Church is home. The Heart of our Lord is home. We as the Theo IV deacons (with our father) are gathering together in the Heart of the Church for a brief time that we might continue to be conformed to Christ as we step each day closer to our ordinations to the Sacred Priesthood. Please pray for us. I hope that the blog this month is an opportunity to share our journeys, not for the sake of reminiscing but instead to invite you along into the Heart of His Church wherever it is that you find yourself reading these posts. At the end of each post I will leave my email address for any prayer requests you may have, that you’d like us to carry. Thank you too for your prayers.
This morning a handful of the brothers went to Mary Major for Mass, and a few of us left late on foot to catch up to them. After a few minutes and passing 4 or 5 churches we decided to stop into the next one we saw to see if they had mass anytime soon. We met a very welcoming parishioner who told us about the ‘New Church’ and brought us to ask St. Philip Neri for special blessings on this solemnity.
After our prayer with St. Philip we met Msgr. Karel Kasteel who was concelebrating the next Mass. He offered the 10am Mass for our intentions and invited us to coffee after. He was a man of many impressive assignments, but the most notable traits were his joy and his love of his priesthood. He has said mass every day of his 60 years as a priest, including the day after a heart attack in the hospital. Following a few hours of coffee and conversation we hustled to Pope Francis’ Angelus address where Msgr. Kasteel translated for us. We promised our prayers and parted ways for lunch. Walking back to our home for the month we all felt a little more full.
The Church is home. We each know the heaviness of sin, and the struggles we face today…and yet the Church is home. It is a new year. A year of hope. A year of returning to the Heart.
Deacon Bobby Blood