Common Life at the Casa
Spiritual and Liturgical
For every priest, his personal relationship with the Lord is central. Daily time for personal prayer deepens this relationship, and it is presumed that every resident will make this a priority in his daily schedule.
Eucharistic concelebrations are scheduled each day at 6.30 am, 7.15 am and 12.30 pm to accommodate University schedules. A Concelebrated Community Eucharist is celebrated on Sundays and major Solemnities at 11.30 am. On Sunday evening at 6.00 pm a Eucharistic Holy Hour with Evening Prayer is celebrated Forty Hours devotion is observed the weekend prior to Christ the King.
There are opportunities provided for praying the Liturgy of the Hours in common daily, and all are especially encouraged to join in Evening Prayer in the Casa Chapel at 6.45 pm.
There is a resident spiritual director who is available for confessions and direction at the student priests convenience. An outside confessor comes every Monday evening. Penance services are also scheduled throughout the year.
A group retreat is offered for residents who wish to take advantage of this opportunity. It is scheduled around the weekend before Holy Week at a facility in the nearby countryside and is conducted by the Casa Spiritual Director.
A lifestyle in keeping with priestly ideals is expected. The practice of the virtues and especially mutual charity and support is presumed. Residents would normally be expected to be in the Casa by midnight.
The primary purpose of residence at the Casa is the successful completion of a graduate degree in ecclesiastical disciplines with a view to service to the Church.
The student will register with the University to which he has been assigned and will design his program with the appropriate University authorities. The student and sending Ordinary will have determined in advance the likely duration of his program.
An excellent research Library is maintained at the Casa with a resident librarian to assist student priests with their research. The Library currently has more than 22,000 volumes and 85 specialized periodicals The Library at the Seminary division on the Janiculum is also available to all students. There is a computerized catalog and an on-line data base.
The College Episcopal Committee has determined that each student priest must write a letter to his Ordinary at the end of each academic year reporting on his academic progress. A copy of this letter is given to the Superior of the Casa and retained in the priests permanent record at the Casa.
To facilitate an environment conducive to study and research a quiet atmosphere is observed on the living corridors and priests are expected to keep music etc. at appropriate levels so as not to disturb others.
A strong spirit of priestly fraternity and mutual support has characterized the Casa community. Residents are encouraged to do their part to contribute to this spirit.
Appropriate community celebrations are arranged for the various holydays and holidays and all are encouraged to participate. A movie room and TV Lounges are available.
The Refectory and the kitchen are supervised by a religious order of Polish Sisters, Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate, and are staffed by laymen waiters. Proper professional attire is expected which normally would be clerical attire especially at noon and slacks and a collared shirt at other times. Shorts, T-shirts etc. are not appropriate attire in the Refectory.
An Exercise Room is available with proper equipment for various forms of physical workouts to facilitate “ a sound mind in a sound body!”
A no-smoking policy is in effect.
An Infirmary is staffed by registered nurses, Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI. One afternoon a week office hours are scheduled. Referrals to Rome-based physicians are made as needed.
Each priest’s room includes a bed, closet, chair, night stand and sink. Residents are free to personalize their rooms. Sheets are provided; towels are not provided.
Washers, dryers, irons and ironing boards are available for self-service laundry. There are dry cleaning shops nearby.
Each room has a telephone with a personal number from which a resident can direct-dial. Each room is also wired for computer and Internet service, but residents need to be aware of voltage differences between Europe and the United States.
A House Council composed of five elected members meets regularly with the Superior to foster common collaboration in the mission of the Casa Santa Maria and to raise and resolve concerns that will enhance the residents ability to carry out their assignment as student priests. General House Meetings are held at least twice a year.
Overnight absence from the Casa requires submission of a written form to the Superior with contact information and phone numbers, in case diocesan authorities or family members need to reach the student priest.