After helping with final exams in Rome I headed to California to spend some time having a few “Roaming” Catholic experiences. For most of the month I stayed with the Legionary community in Cupertino, which has some majestic views of the valley:
Driving around on 280 (helping with a few airport runs to SFO) made me remember how there’s no natural beauty like the beauty of your home state. It was the first time I’d been in California for an extended period for years, and it was nice to be home.
After some much appreciated star spangled food at the LC house on July 4th (God Bless America) I headed to St. Patrick’s Seminary in nearby Menlo Park for a theology seminar on vocations organized by the Faith and Reason Institute. We spent eight days reading and discussing literary and scholarly works that touched on freedom, obedience, marriage, priesthood, and the episcopate. The participants consisted of educators from all levels of education and, in addition to participating in the discussions, I was asked to be chaplain. The seminarians were all away on summer assignments, but the peace and silence of a seminary remained. Walking down the hallway of one wing they had pictures posted of each ordination class, and I could only imaging how many of them had served me as priests when I was living in Watsonville, since this seminary also served the Monterey diocese.
A group of Legionary fathers gathered at the Legionary community to work on writing projects for the month of July; I was preparing a Licentiate-level theology seminar on priesthood in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger that I’d be giving back in Rome in October. Once a week our LC writer’s community would go out for a community day, and I got to visit the redwoods at Big Basin State Park (the first time in almost twenty years, along with Scotts Valley, where I’d worked for 7.5 years in the computer industry) and go for a walk on the Golden Gate Bridge (a first for me).
We spent most of the week in-house, each working on his writing or study project (among others, a retreat, a book, and a doctoral proposal), and we had great conversations at meals about what we were working on, Scripture, and too many topics to mention. I dropped the last father off at the airport yesterday and as I write these lines from Cupertino the writer’s month has concluded and now I’ll be heading down to Watsonville for a few weeks visiting my family. Have a blessed summer.