Sunday, January 22, 2017

Venice Visit and Fr. Brian Wayne

So, I promised I'd post about last weekend's trip to Venice.  Been a busy week - but I'm taking a break from studying from finals for my Canon Law classes to make good.

It's been a good week!  Fr. Brian Wayne, the vocation director for the Diocese of Harrisburg - and a good friend, was here on an "official visit" to the seminary to see our diocesan seminarian: Stephen Logue.  But Fr. Wayne came a few days early so that we could spend a few days together.  We did - and we had a blast!

So, last Friday he and I headed out on the high-speed train from Rome Termini to Venice.  The train actually goes right into Venice - such that you can walk from the train right to the taxi in Venice - a WATER taxi, of course!  Here we are on our arrival!

We checked into our hotel and almost immediately went out exploring the awesome "floating city" of Venice.  Here are some photos from our journey.

Taking the water taxi
View from our hotel balcony 
The gondolas all lined up
Fr. Wayne actually wanted to do a gondola ride.  I told him that was "too romantic" for two priests - and he'd have to combine his memories of the water taxi and the guys we passed in the street singing "O solo mio..."

And it SNOWED in Venice!  STRANGE!

The next morning, after Mass and breakfast in the hotel, we went to the Doge Palace.  It was a really cook tour - learned a lot about the Kingdom of Venice - which lasted 1100 years - WOW!  Lot's of neat photos.  The Doge palace actually connects to a prison (first building actually built as a prison) via the "Bridge of Sighs."

The ceiling support system in the grand room where all the noble men met
View from the "leads" - the upper rooms near the lead roof

Looking out the "Bridge of Sighs" into a canal

Main entry into the Doge Palace

following our tour of the Doge palace we grabbed a bite to eat - then a little rest (Fr. Wayne was not feeling well - all that travel).  Then an evening dinner and a concert.  Friday night (in the snow) we ducked into a "church" that was the Vivaldi museum - and they were advertising a concert including 4 Seasons.  We thought - "we're in Venice - why not!"  So we bought tickets.  So after dinner we headed to the St. Vidal "church" for the concert.  Here's a small snippet...

Sunday was a remarkable morning - as we had made arrangements to concelebrate Mass at St. Mark's Basilica.  The Arch-priest there was SO welcoming - and he wanted to show us everything.  He showed us the beautiful gold altar-piece and pointing out several of the many gold mosaics.  Of course, we were also very close to the tomb of St. Mark the Evangelist - and actually celebrated Mass on the altar over his tomb.  Exciting!   Some photos:

Fr. Wayne in the Choir stall at St. Mark's Basilica
You can see the incense hanging in the air... 
St. Mark's Tomb

St. Mark's Basilica

The Cathedra - and a smaller, stone chair reportedly from St. Mark

Then we just did some more wandering around the city before heading back to the Train to Rome.

We returned to Rome Sunday evening.  Monday morning we had another special moment - we celebrated Mass at the chapel closest to the very Tomb of St. Peter - the Clemintine Chapel.  We invited our diocesan seminarian, Stephen Logue, to join us.

Praying before the Tomb of St. Peter
Then, after a few days of Fr. Wayne visiting the seminary (the official reason for his visit) and me going to class.  Thursday we celebrated my 50th birthday (can't believe it).  Then on Thursday we went to St. Paul outside the Walls where we celebrated Mass.

It was a wonderful visit of Fr. Wayne - a good friend and brother priest.  I look forward to his return someday!

Tuesday begins finals for me - so I might disappear again.  Be know I'm still around!  God bless you all!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Investiture into the Order


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!)  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Feast of St. Francis Xavier

Prayer asking the intercession of St. Francis Xavier

Lord Jesus,
You have sent us to proclaim the Gospel to all nations,
and have promised to always remain with us.
Look upon us gathered here at the relic of St. Francis Xavier.
Pour out the abundance of your Spirit upon each one of our brothers and sisters especially on those who are called to ponder
upon the journey made and to plan what has still to be done,
so that we may offer a more authentic service to mission.
Grant that we may ever be faithful to the Gospel and to give an answer to the hopes which the world places before your church today.  Stay with us, Lord, when we gather around the table of your Bread and your Word, and when we walk the paths of the world side by side with our brothers and sisters.
Grant that we all find ourselves in heaven, our homeland,
after having been members of the same family on earth.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving (s)

First, Happy Thanksgiving to all!  It's just a "normal" day here in Rome - although we do have a break from classes - they know that the Americans simply don't show up today.  I went to be with the American priests living here in Rome for Mass and Thanksgiving dinner.

Boy - it was the best bird I've ever seen!

But there have been a lot of thanksgivings these past few days.  Thanksgivings to God for all His goodness to us - and in particular for the example and witness of the Saints.

One of the things that a good friend of mine said was, "The day that living in Rome becomes nothing special is the day you need to come home."  And there is a saying here that goes something like, "Don't let your education get in the way of your life in Rome."

I've been trying to make sure that I take advantage of every blessed opportunity while being here in Rome - and this Blog is a means of sharing those opportunities with you.  I sometimes am concerned that it's more pride or "look what I got to do" - and I do NOT want it to be that.  Rather, I desire to share with you my experiences and blessings - hoping that you can experience them along with me.

One of the ways I'm trying to be mindful of living in Rome is to make a little pilgrimage to the relics of saints on their feast day.  This week, I did that twice: Tuesday the Church remembered Saint Cecilia - and Wednesday Saint Clement.  So I visited both their churches this week.

Tuesday, St. Cecilia, was my long day at school (till 4:30pm).  I had discovered that the Basilica of St. Cecilia is in Trastevere - which is a neighborhood not too far from where I live - and that the remains of St. Cecilia are buried there.

Here is a video telling the story of St. Cecilia:

I also learned that they were having Vespers at the Church - so after school I jumped on the tram and went to the Basilica of St. Cecilia in Trastevere.
This is the Basilica in Trastevere
This is the very famous image of her beneath the main altar
Just to prove I was here...
The Sanctuary
The actual tomb of St. Cecilia in the crypt beneath the high altar.
Then on Wednesday the Church remember St. Clement I, Pope.  His remains are also here in Rome in one of the oldest sections of the old city.  In fact, many traditions say that the basilica that houses his relics is built upon his house.  Regardless of that fact (or fiction), the basilica is incredibly old - built on top of an oder basilica which itself was built on top of Roman ruins.  Here's a LINK to a fascinating video about the Basilica of San Clemente.  The video is on the basilica's official website - so there's not way to actually embed it here.
And you are not allowed to take pictures inside the Basilica - so here are a few I found online - and a selfie - again to prove I was actually there.

This morning there was a 5-K run up at the NAC (North American College).  Had a good time - 27:50 (but we didn't have chips in our numbers, so I'm sure I ran faster than that).  It was a good morning.  I like what they put on their shirts: