Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Casa Santa Maria

This was the old Pontifical North American College in Rome, aka the little house on Humility Street.  It was founded by Blessed Pius IX, and established just down the street from his summer residence on the Quirinale.  It was originally an Ursuline Convent.  The small chapel, with icon of Our Lady of Humility, is my favorite in Rome.  

In the 1950s, Cardinal Spellman had a new seminary constructed for North Americans, closer to the Vatican.  It was a good move.  They kept this property as graduate house of studies for North American clergy.  The only religious house in Rome where you are served real eggs for breakfast every morning.   

I have fond memories of staying here as a guest twice in the 1990s, along with my brother.  The generous Christian hospitality shown to us was something I will be grateful for - for the rest of my life.  Everyone was so gracious.  It was Christmastime.  Defining moments in my life.  I could feel the presence of God and still feel it every time I enter this property.  My boyhood confessor was a student here in the 1930s, Fr. Richard T. O'Connor, ordained in 1937.  He had graduated from high school with my grandfather in 1929.  Saints before us and saints among us.  Thank You, Lord, for the kindness shown to me by priests, Your ministers at the altar.   

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