Many thanks to everyone for their kind words of encouragement. Such a treat to receive support from fellow bloggers as well as from blog readers in the blogosphere. Through the primeval forest of blogdom, just in the past few years, a quick trail has been blazed and now we still gaze in amazement as the growing plain of influence of Catholic blogs continues to reach yet even further.
Special thanks, too, to a fellow son of the North Star State, the famous Fr. "Z." Who would have known that the Lord would have gifted the greater world with so many fine clergymen from the vast Northwest Territory (a region which once belonged to Catholic France)? Now these priests bring the divine kingship of Christ to the world with their many talents and they make us proud. Two of these fine sons deserve honorable mention: Frs. John Zuhlsdorf and John Berg, FSSP. Both are sons of Minneapolis, discovered in 1680 by a Franciscan, Fr. Hennepin.
The opportunity to share my sojourn in the Eternal City through photographs has been a blessing and a great joy. It all came together at once: the invention of the blog, the digital camera with its indoor photographic ability, speedy wireless Internet access, the German Pontificate, and I guess me ending up here as a student.
Heedful of my poverty, God still called me to graduate school in the Holy City. There are many ramifications to being here and one of these has always been the financial burden. In a special place in my heart I carry those generous souls who have donated to my education through this blog. Although my shortcomings are many, I thank you all for your many acts of kindness and I carry your intentions in my heart.
We were all born some place special on the globe. For most of us, Rome is a long ways from home. How the Lord of History has provided Catholic leadership from the New World! Blessed was I to have been born on the new continent of the Western World first made known by the Catholic explorer Christopher Columbus and then pioneered by Fathers Hennepin and Marquette. And then born near an old American military outpost established at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers.
On the upper reaches of the Mississippi River, father of streams, you will find a unique Catholic nucleus. Remember this place. Early explorers made note of their utter amazement at the mighty current that sweeps down the Mississippi River. There you will find two "Twin Cities." One seems to have the most fitting name of any city in the world (it has borne the honored name of the zealous Apostle of the Gentiles, Saint Paul) while the other seems to have the most unique name of any city in the world (the metropolis, Minneapolis).
In the 1930s Eugenio Pacelli was there. In the 1980s Joseph Ratzinger was there. Perhaps someday you, too, might make it there to see the two most magnificent churches on the North American continent: the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary.