I have two big pieces of news to share:
1) As you might have noticed, I’ve got a new blog layout and a new web address. I’ve switched over from Blogspot to WordPress, which should give me a little more flexibility in designing the page. All of this was made possible by John Lamansky, a seminarian for the diocese of Davenport, Iowa.
The new address is www.shamelesspopery.com, so please update your bookmarks. Right now, Blogspot is redirecting from the old page, but I don’t know how much longer that will last.
2) The much bigger news is that Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, 265th successor to St. Peter, and Bishop of Rome, will be coming to visit the Pontifical North American College, and celebrating Mass here on Saturday, May 2nd.
Obviously, this will be a big day for the faculty and seminarians here at the NAC, but it will also be a big day for the Knights of Columbus (Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of Knights of Columbus, will be one of the keynote speakers), for the Serra Club (the pope’s visit is tied to a “Day of Reflection on Blessed Junipero Serra“), and hopefully for all American Catholics. In the words of my rector, Msgr. James Checchio:
During this Easter Season, we have been reading from the Acts of the Apostles at Mass and we have been blessed to meditate upon the effects of the resurrection on the Early Church. As Americans, we cannot help but to ponder in our thoughts and to contemplate within our hearts the upcoming visits of the successor of St. Peter to the Pontifical North American College in May and to the United States in September; and we’re praying that these visits, like the Apostles’ early visits throughout Galilee, will also bring much new evangelical excitement to our local Churches. His Holiness, Pope Francis, will no doubt see an active, vibrant Catholic Church in the United States; and we are all hoping that his apostolic and evangelical presence will ignite an even greater adherence to the Gospel amongst us. […]
During his visit to the Pontifical North American College, the Holy Father will see firsthand the vibrancy of the faith in our country represented in our 250 seminarians. They come from 101 dioceses within our country. The North American College has been at capacity enrollment for four years now, the first time since the 1960’s, and we already have a waiting list for the next academic year. We also have 62 priests engaged in advanced theological studies at our graduate house, the Casa Santa Maria. Our houses are lively, faith-filled, joyful, and apostolically oriented; the fruit of much prayer and evangelization occurring amongst our bishops, clerics, religious and lay faithful in the United States. Pope Francis is calling all of us to further reform our lives and also to do even more in caring for the poor – going to the periphery of our societies. It is certainly a great gift for all of us. […]
We certainly ask our faithful people – those in America and beyond – to keep the Pontifical North American College in their prayers as we rededicate ourselves to our mission of raising up worthy ministers for the Church’s Altars and ardent but gentle servants of the Gospel. Following the example of our Blessed Mother and our patroness under the title of the Immaculate Conception, we rely on the grace of God to sustain us in all our efforts and to bring fulfillment to the good work He has begun in our College. Without these constant prayers and generous support of God’s faithful people, our daily work of forming holy, loving and courageous priests for the new evangelization would be impossible. The visit of Pope Francis to our College and to our homeland will certainly be moments of renewal for all of us. We are filled with great hope and excitement as our Holy Father advances the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our time.
The second story’s a lot bigger than the first, I admit, but I’m quite pleased with both.