Impressions of Rome: Confraternities

An important dimension of Catholic Church life in Italy over the past several centuries has been the presence and work of Confraternities. A Confraternity is a group, usually composed of both men and women, though sometimes of only men or only women, who in cities,...

Impressions of Rome: Holy Week 2018

I wrote about Holy Week and Easter in Rome a year ago and here I am doing so again. Tempus fugit, as the ancient Romans said, and the point is still valid: time flies, like it or not. In English we sometimes add to “time flies,” the little phrase, “when you’re having...

New Novices!

Brother Boniface, Brother Ignatius, Abbot Philip, Brother Jerome, Brother Chrysostom and Prior Fr. Benedict...

Impressions of Rome: Eastern Catholics

One of the beauties and glories of our Catholic Church is the diversity of other liturgical Rites that are in full communion with the Holy See. These Rites have existed for centuries and developed distinctive forms of celebrating Holy Mass and the other sacraments of...

Impressions of Rome: The Forum

Today looking rather like a “heap of ruins,” which in a sense is exactly what it is, the great Roman Forum was at one time the center of political, religious, commercial and judicial life of the ancient republic. The Forum’s central position in the city of Rome made...

Impressions of Rome: Sister Rain

If “the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain,” as Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle chanted in “My Fair Lady,” then the rain in Rome stays “mainly on me.” At least that is how it felt on Monday, March 12th when another monk, who studies in Rome, and I...

ABBOT PHILIP ANNOUNCES EASTER SCHEDULE

Today Abbot Philip Lawrence, OSB, announced the Easter schedule for the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.  He emphasized that the public is cordially welcomed for all of the liturgical service being offered.  The weather is expected to be fine but in any event,...

Impressions of Rome: Piazza Venezia

One of Rome’s most prominent landmarks, as well as being one of the most artistically questionable structures in the city, is the Vittorio Emanuele II (Victor Emmanuel the Second) monument in Piazza Venezia, just a few blocks from our curia Sant’Ambrogio in the...

Impressions of Rome: Snow in the City

Just when I was thinking that I needed an interesting topic to write about, the Lord seemed to reply by sending a record-breaking cold front and serious snowstorm (by Italian standards) to the city of Rome. Snow is a rather rare occurrence here, and the last...

Impressions of Rome: The Sound of Music

I arrived at our “Curia Sant’Ambrogio” last year, on Friday the 13th (!) of January, 2017. The Curia is the residence in Rome of the Abbot President of our Subiaco Cassinese Congregation of Benedictines, as well as of his assistants, numbering four monks. We also have...

Impressions of Rome: The Jewish Quarter

Our Curia Sant’Ambrogio is set in the midst of Rome’s Jewish Quarter. The technical and acceptable term for the area is, “the Ghetto,” which to American ears might sound derogatory or anti-Semitic, but if you ask the Jewish residents here, they will tell you they live...

THE SOLEMN PROFESSION

BRO. DOMINIC AND FR. SIMEON MAKE THEIR SOLEMN PROFESSION On Saturday, February 10th, two monks of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Br. Dominic and Fr. Simeon, made their final vows.  It was the feast of St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict, and a most...

Impressions of Rome: Cats

I have already written, some months ago, about dogs in Rome. It is now time to consider the cats of the city. Felines are definitely “dappertutto,” that is, “everywhere” in the Eternal City. Many  sidewalks, ruins, churches, piazza, public stairways, have one or more...

Impressions of Rome: Epiphany

The Catholic Church has traditionally kept certain great feasts on a specific day, such as Christmas on December 25th and the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6t h. Easter is always observed on the first Sunday after the spring equinox (the first full moon of spring)...

OBLATE NEWS

AIM USA ANNOUNCES 2018 LENTEN APPEAL The Alliance for International Monasticism (AIM USA) promotes cooperation and solidarity among monasteries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.  With this as its goal and, keeping in mind Jesus’ invitation to love our...

Impressions of Rome: Retreat

Not long after arriving in Rome last January, 2017, our Abbot President Guillermo Leon Arboleda Tamayo asked me if I could offer retreat conferences in English later in 2017 to the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing in Rome. The Motherhouse of the sisters is in...

Father David Anderson Lectures…..

                           As part of our ongoing spiritual and monastic formation, our monastery has profited by the presence of Father David Anderson, an Eastern Catholic priest and Patristic scholar from Ukiah, California. Father David serves as pastor at...

Impressions of Italy: Saint Rose of Viterbo

Because so many of the canonized saints and blesseds of the Church were born in Italy, lived here for some time and/or died here, innumerable Italian cities have a particular patron saint associated with their city. Rita of Cassia, Francis of Assisi, Angela of...

Impressions of Rome: Christmas

Recently I have been asked, more than once, “So how was your Christmas?” Before answering the question, I would ask another. Have you noticed that Americans now begin almost every question with the word, “So”? I haven’t quite figured out why that is, but it seems all...