I have a friend named Quan, a member of my parish, though I didn't meet him until we went on the same pilgrimage to Mexico two years ago. Quan's a seminarian at the North American College in Rome. He takes classes at the Angelicum, but I'm not jealous or anything. He had eight classes this last semester-- crazy!
Quan just came back to Southern California for the summer, so a group of us went out to eat with him after Mass today and we heard how he's doing. He seems to love Rome. It's full of history; saints' relics down every alleyway. Says he's not learning Italian much since all his classes are in English and all the Italians speak it. He used to go to all the papal events but now he doesn't always have time because they take so long. He helped to serve Mass for the Pope once on some feast day-- it was broadcast on EWTN. I'm not jealous or anything. He's also been on a few short trips with the other seminarians, to Assisi for example. He gave us all Rosaries blessed by the Pope. :)
The North American College is wonderful, he reports. It's very orthodox. Better yet, from the top down, everyone there is focused first and foremost on deepening their relationship with God, developing their life of prayer and worship. This was unfortunately not true of the seminary he was at before, but I'm very glad he was able to transfer!
Quan said that all the seminarians have to take on some kind of apostolic work, so he volunteered for the job he wanted most. They trained him carefully and gave him a test on it which he passed. He'll get to start when he gets back to Rome. Know what the job is? To be a guide taking people down below the altar of St. Peter's Basilica to see the bones of St. Peter! How cool is that? He handled the bones himself during his training!
But I'm not jealous or anything.