Our own Brother Cassian is studying in Rome, and has been sending back dispatches about his experience there. This was his message the first evening of the conclave:
Several people have asked me what it is like being in Rome at the moment. I feel like a child on Christmas eve waiting eagerly for Christmas to begin, with the only difference being that I don't know when the big event will begin and whether I'll be attentive enough to it to be around for it. Perhaps this point will reveal the feeling: I think that there should be a general ban on the pealing of bells in Rome until the time for the announcement begins, for the bells calling various religious houses to Vespers yesterday evening already sent me twice running to the Internet and the windows of Sant'Anselmo searching for news of white smoke. My classes were canceled today, and so I'm merely hanging out near the Sant'Anna gate after having gone to the Vatican police station in the morning to give my finger prints again to renew my permission to stay. Thankfully, I made it through the antechamber to Purgatory that is the police station's office to strangers without any completely unreasonable excuses for rejecting my application this time, but several others were not as fortunate and needed to make new appointments with them. I passed a holy hour at Sant'Anna, the small "parish" church of Vatican city, before coming out to see the news of the first vote of the day / 2nd vote overall at the nearby bar. There were people wandering everywhere around the Vatican and Borgo Pio next to it. Every TV was showing nothing but the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, and everyone was in suspense for about 15 minutes not knowing what was happening, as the 10:30 am results only produce smoke in the case of white smoke. At noon, we will receive a more definite and immediate sign of either black or white smoke, and I look forward to seeing some type of smoke from Piazza San Pietro. In the meantime, I'm going to try to get some work done, even though the entire environment is electric with energy. The baristi are singing songs for the tourists. Everyone is jovial. In the afternoon I'm going to transfer over to a nearby library "Dell'Orologio" near to Saint Philip Nieri's Chiesa Nuova and only a 15 minute walk directly down the main roads to Piazza S. Pietro. That way, I can get more work done yet arrive in time for any positive news at 5:30. I again plan to be in the piazza at 7 pm for the results of the final vote. Ah, the prospect of work brings a dilemma: study Rahner's theological mistakes or study up on papabili as preparation for another television interview after the election? Hmm.
Brother Cassian was interviewed by local news anchor Mike Bush of KSDK NewsChannel 5 (a clip of his interview was shown on Tuesday night, but his full interview was pre-empted by the election of Pope Francis I), and was quoted by journalist Edward Pentin in the Catholic Herald. Click here to read the Catholic Herald article.
Read Br. John's latest ARTICLE IN THE HOMEOLETICS AND PASTORAL REVIEW.
Fr. Augustine has a NEW BLOG on the School web site. Click here for his weekly REFLECTIONS ON THE RULE OF SAINT BENEDICT
We have A NEW PAGE devoted to the junior monks and what they're all doing...
Deo gratias! Brother Dunstan Holmes took his solemn vows on August 25.
Congratulations to the Reverand Dom Cassian Koenemann and the Reverand Dom Francis Hein who were ordained deacons on August 12.
A toast to the newly ordained (monk style).
Tenebrae - Good Friday
Br. Athanasius' simple vows