priests in a garden

Radical New Way

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday January 8, 2023

In 2006, I was 26 years old, beginning my third year of seminary formation. I had more hair back then, less wrinkles, and even less wisdom. Nonetheless, my bishop at the time decided to send me to the Pontifical North American College in Rome to continue my theological studies. I would spend the next five years of my life in the Eternal City. By happy happenstance, Pope Benedict XVI was elected as the new pope the year before I arrived. His stalwart fidelity, towering intellect and utter humility would have a lasting impact as a young man preparing for priesthood. One particular instant in September of that year, I would never forget; it inspires me until this very day.