- May 26, 2020
Two weeks of self-imposed coronavirus quarantine ended April 7 for two Oregon seminarians and a priest.
The U.S. seminarians who were studying at Rome’s Pontifical North American College have or are about to complete their 14-day quarantine at home and will be getting very unusual pastoral experience in U.S. parishes that are finding ways to minister to Catholics amid the restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
With more than half of its seminarians already back in the United States, the Pontifical North American College in Rome is sending its students home.
About half of the U.S. seminarians and priests living at the Pontifical North American College and the Casa Santa Maria in Rome have left the locked-down city, the rector said.
There’s a strong case that some priests currently in Rome could be better utilized somewhere else. Nonetheless, experience over the years suggests there are at least three basic reasons why a bit of Roman seasoning often has a positive effect on priests, perhaps especially Americans.
At the Pontifical North American College, new student orientation is not just a weekend or even just a week — it includes almost a month of intensive Italian studies, punctuated with occasional gelato sampling and one big shoutout from Pope Francis.