HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I know - it's been a long time since I've posted anything. I must try to be more faithful to this - as I hear from many how much they enjoy the posts. A quick update on the past month:
December was certainly a busy month in Rome. So many celebrations and preparations for the great Feast of the Nativity. We had a wonderful celebration of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 at the North American College. Mass with Cardinal Harvey and a great meal with the seminary community. The Vatican erected the Nativity Scene and Christmas Tree and illuminated it on December 9.
School continues to go well - we had classes all the way up until December 20 (our semester does not end until mid-January with final exams the end of January and early February).
December 21 I returned to the States for Christmas at home. It was strange not having a parish assignment - so for Christmas I didn't have lots of Masses to celebrate. I had the opportunity to concelebrate Midnight Mass at the Cathedral with Bishop Gainer - I think it was actually the first time I concelebrated Mass with him. I spent one week in Harrisburg and was able to visit many of my priest friends and brother priests - as well as many others. Then I flew to Florida to visit my parents (they are "snow birds" and live there in the winter). Then back to Harrisburg in early January - where I was able to "drill" at my home unit with the Air Force. It was good to see everyone - and it was their first opportunity to see me since my promotion in July.
January 8 I returned to Rome and got right back to work and school. Normal stuff.
But on Wednesday, January 11 had a wonderful experience. Cardinal O'Brien decided to invest me and 3 members of the NAC faculty into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - a great honor and privilege. I'm happy to share some photos that were taken during the event.
This very first photo is of me and Blase Cardinal Cupich - the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago - who was my rector during my time at the Josephinum. I was very honored that he came all the way from Chicago for my investiture. Ok, well, he didn't really - he just happened to be in Rome for a meeting - none-the-less, I was happy that he was here for this very important moment.
|Blase Cardial Cupich and Fr. Bateman|
I was also very honored that our Governor General (the highest ranking lay-member of the Order) Agostino Borromeo and Chancellor Alfredo Bastianelli (2nd highest) also took part in the investiture rites.
|Edwin Cardinal OBrien vests Fr. Bateman with the assistance of Agostino Borromeo|
It was also a pleasant surprise that Donald Cardinal Weurl - the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington - just happened to be in Rome and also attended the ceremony. These photos show all 4 of the newly invested priests, the three cardinals and the officials of the Order.
It was a great day - and I am very honored to have been chosen by Cardinal O'Brien to be invested into the Order.
Currently, Fr. Brian Wayne (the vocation director for the Diocese of Harrisburg) is here visiting the NAC and he came a few days early so that we could spend some time together. So we are currently sitting on a train headed to Venice for the weekend. Fr. Wayne wanted to visit somewhere he hasn't been and chose Venice. So, early next week I'll blog about our weekend adventure (I promise!)