Led Into the Truth

March 12, 2010

Changing Apostolates

By Fr. Joshua Allen

I recently found out that after almost two years, I am changing apostolates at the North American College.  Our apostolic work in Rome is carried out in a variety of fields. Some men are chaplains to university programs. Others give tours of St. Peter’s Basilica. Yet others give tours of the excavations under the basilica. There are those who visit hospital or prisons. Some work with military bases. There are others who do street evangelization. My apostolate has been giving tours of St....

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February 26, 2010

Forty Days of Pilgrimage

By Fr. Joshua Allen

On Ash Wednesday, earlier than usual, more solemn than usual, with anticipation, excitement, and perhaps some dread, the seminarians of the North American College in Rome awoke to prepare for their annual Lenten pilgrimage.  Groggy but determined, the men prepared themselves, perhaps choosing a pair of shoes a bit more accustomed to the cobble of the ancient streets, selecting a jacket that could protect from the inevitable rain, palming their familiar rosary.  They assembled just before 6...

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February 12, 2010

Literary Formation

By Fr. Joshua Allen

It is not often that I read a book and find myself engrossed in a process that I suspect will alter my world view. I enjoy reading, but most books are not enduringly memorable. Right now, I am reading one that I think will change the way I think. In fact, since Christmas, I have read two books that have fundamentally challenged the way that I look at the world, my own personal holiness, and the very possibilities for holiness in our world. My guess is that most of you have not heard of...

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December 23, 2009

The Feast of Reality

By Fr. Joshua Allen

Last Christmas, I woke up early in the morning and drove with a small group from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.  We made our way into the Basilica of the Nativity, finding the sacristy to prepare for Mass.  I was somewhat alarmed at how quiet and empty the church was; after all, was this not the very place where our Lord came to dwell among us, in a cave on the hillside of the City of David?  We processed quietly and solemnly to the grotto, careful on the steps not to trip, and found ourselves at...

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December 03, 2009

An Accidental Devotion

By Fr. Joshua Allen

Once a year, the Atlanta men take a fraternity weekend away from Rome.  This year we traveled to Padua in the northern part of the country. Padua is famous for three things: 1)It is the burial place of St. Anthony of Padua;2) It is the burial place of St. Luke the Evangelist; and3)The Scrovegni Chapel, one of Giotto’s masterpieces, is found there Frankly, there is not a lot in the town with which to keep oneself busy for a whole weekend, but since the purpose of a fraternity weekend...

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November 06, 2009

Respect and Obedience

By Fr. Joshua Allen

With less than a year (God-willing!!) until my ordination to the Diaconate, I have been reflecting on the promises that I will make during the liturgy when I stand before a genuine successor to the Apostles and offer my life to God in a definitive way.  In the Rite of Ordination, the bishop asks, “Do you promise respect and obedience to your Ordinary?”  If the seminarian isn’t looking for an extraordinarily awkward public conversation, he replies, “I do!”  This promise is...

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October 26, 2009

A Revelation of Desire

By Fr. Joshua Allen

The North American College is back in session, classes have resumed, and the long transition period when the seminarians are in Rome but without a regular schedule has been replaced by the day-in  day-out rhythm of life. After a hiatus from writing, conditioned primarily by the haphazardness of my own availability, Led Into the Truth is entering a new phase. I am less than one year from my ordination to the transitional diaconate, God-willing, and suddenly the place to which I am being led...

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September 21, 2009

Impossible Possibilities

By Fr. Joshua Allen

A few weeks ago, the Atlanta seminarians gathered for a retreat.  My favorite activity was sitting with friends on the porch engrossed in deep conversation.  One topic that came up was the nature of the vocation to the married life.  A group of five or six of us reflected on our own family lives growing up.  Several of us (me included) had divorced parents, and all of us know people who never met their father.  We were trying to understand the necessary grace involved in the married life and...

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August 21, 2009

Mystagogical Visitations

By Fr. Joshua Allen

One year ago this week, I was deep into my summer pastoral assignment at the Pontifical Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem, Israel.  That summer was absolutely incredible—any who read my column regularly will know that I have an exceeding fondness for the Holy Land.  I met friends there with whom I continue to be close; our shared experiences of the holiness of the place and the magnificence of the people formed a bond that has lasted.  I simply cannot recommend it enough.   My experience of...

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August 06, 2009

To Visit and Be Visited

By Fr. Joshua Allen

My mother returned to the Lord just months before I entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in August 2005.  She had fought a long battle with a physically debilitating disease and succumbed to an infection the previous May.  Both my brother and I were given the grace to be there by her bed as she took her last breath, an image now burned into my mind.  Perhaps because of the decision I had finally made to enter seminary or perhaps just because I was a little older, her passing and the funeral...

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