September 30, 2018

Pastors Keyboard: This week I’m writing to you from the eternal city.  I’ve been in Rome with the American seminarians and their families for four days now. Here in Rome, you can really experience the Universal Church like no other place. On every street and at every church you hear every language, and see every nation represented in their native clothes and cultures. In addition to seeing people from all over the world, flocking here to be near the tombs of the apostles, Peter and Paul, and to the places where so many saints have lived their lives, I felt doubly blessed to be spending time with young men who are preparing for the priesthood.

The North American College, which is the Graduate School in Theology for men studying for the priesthood from all over the United States, is very impressive. There are over 220 seminarians who are studying at this college. Many of them have left successful careers (i.e. government positions, military, medical field, police officers, etc.) to follow Christ who has called them to serve God and to serve you as Shepherds. They, like you and me, have been scandalized, saddened, and angry at what has happened in the church because of shepherds who abused the sheep or allowed others to get away with it. Yet, in the midst of their sadness and anger, I found them hopeful and more determined than ever to make sure that this evil will never again be allowed to subsist in the church. I have been so encouraged by how they desire to live their lives in deep intimacy with our Lord, and integrity in the way they live. These young men, and some not so young, have a deep desire to serve the Lord as parish priest someday in our local parishes. It’s heartening to see several young men studying at our premiere seminary, whom I have known since they were little kids.

I’m here with a family who have three sons studying for the priesthood, two of whom are studying in Rome.  I have the unbelievable privilege to vest their oldest son as a Transitional deacon (that is last stage before he is ordained a priest on Father’s Day weekend). Please pray for Jami Morrison and his family. Know that I will continue to pray for all of you at every Mass and Holy Hour I go to here in Italy. I look forward to seeing you all later this week. God bless you and Your families always!

Your brother and father in Christ,

Fr. Scott Woods

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