Vatican City, Sep 9, 2020 / 08:00 am
American seminarians met with Pope Francis this week after completing a 14-day mandatory quarantine upon their arrival in Rome.
For the 155 seminarians living at the Pontifical North American College (NAC) campus this year, the fall semester will be unlike any other in recent history due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Thanks be to God everyone has arrived safely,” Fr. David Schunk, vice rector for the college told CNA Sept. 9.
“Our protocol has been to have people tested before departing the US and then having a test done at the college when they arrive.”
In addition to returning students, the seminary also welcomed 33 new seminarians to Rome, who were able to attend Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and visit Assisi for two days after their quarantine ended last week.
The new seminarians also had a chance to meet Pope Francis at the Clementine Hall of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace before the pope’s Angelus address on Sept 6.
Fr. Peter Harman, rector of the seminary, assured the pope of their continued prayers in the meeting, adding: “We have just returned from pilgrimage to Assisi, and there we begged the intercession of St. Francis for Pope Francis.”
“Please pray for us, that this new year will be one of grace, health and growth always in God’s will,” the rector asked the pope.