Personal Musings: January 2007 Archives


Because Uncle Mark finally got his internet connection in Rome! Yes, Fabio the computer specialist came to the abbey yesterday to do mysterious things to Uncle Mark's computer, and Angelo the electrician (from a place called the Vatican) was there today! Uncle Mark is very happy and so am I!

A note from Don Marco

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Dear friends, I thank Lisa for giving you news of my arrival in Rome. I do not have internet access as yet and so have to write to you in the Comments section. The technician is supposed to be coming today to set things up.

I have been given a different cell: this one is enormous: my apartment in Hamden could easily fit into it twice. The ceilings are at least twelve feet high.


Right outside my door is a lovely sculptured shrine of the Madonna of the Rosary of Pompei. That, of course, made me very happy. My cell is at least 1/4 mile from the refectory - well, perhaps I am exaggerating a bit, but not much. It is very, very far. The abbey is huge and the distances require that one leave for every exercise well in advance.

I thank you all for your prayers. Although I arrived with a sore throat and a ear ache, I quickly recovered and have been sleeping well. Twice a day in the refectory there are fresh greens from the garden: surely that helps! Soon I will be able to resume writing on Vultus Christi and I will have much to share.


This will be my last entry until I get settled in at Santa Croce in Gerusalemmme in Rome. I leave tomorrow on the wings of Aer Lingus and will arive in Rome on the 4th. I hope to be able to celebrate Holy Mass in the Dublin airport during my layover there.

I wish that I could write more for January 3rd, the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. One of my favourite prayers is the sweet and powerful invocation of the glorious Irish and English Martyrs: Iesu, Iesu, Iesu, esto mihi Iesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, be to me a Jesus.

O God, who in the Holy Name of Jesus
have given us a light in every darkness,
food for every hunger,
and medicine for every affliction;
mercifully grant that we may find
no name more agreeable in the singing,
more welcome in the hearing,
and more comforting in thought
than the most sweet Name
of your Only-Begotten Son
Jesus Christ who is Lord forever and ever.

Packing for the Eternal City

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My dear friends Christopher and Lisa Hoffer–Schaefer and Nadine Casey spent their New Year's Day afternoon and evening helping me pack. I would never have been able to do it alone. We had great fun doing it. That is Chris with the roll of packing tape.


The ladies, with characteristic efficiency, were amazing. Nadine prepared address labels for shipping. There are three boxes of books ready to be sent to Rome. The suitcases and carry–on bags are ready. This has never been known to happen in my life. I usually pack in a mad frenzy on the eve of my departure. Lisa, seen above, is the Queen of Get–It–Done.


Nadine (above) appears to be working contemplatively. After a few hours of packing, Christopher and Lisa produced a splendid New Year's supper of salad, chicken, and shrimp. And, of course, there was the obligatory bottle of Prosecco. I thank God for the good friends He has given me.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory