JULY 2020 | SANDP I PER 22 COVID-19 situation in Italy AT the beginning of March, the whole country went into strict lockdown after the first infections were detected in northern parts of Italy. Rome, being further south from Milan, was also affected but the number of infections were (and still are) not as high. By the end of March, our community went from about 180 people down to 24 people; with most students travelling home to the United States, leaving us Australians, seminary staff (who mostly stayed) and the Carmelite Sisters, locked in our campus. As you could probably imagine, the seminary feels empty! Now, the situation has improved a lot, thanks be to God. Public Masses have resumed, people have returned to work and travels have resumed between regions in Italy and some European Union countries. More changes continue to be announced. Studies My postgraduate studies in Canon Law at the Gregorian University continued through the online learning method. We tried to minimise the impact caused by the disruptions by keeping the same schedule until the end of the semester (late May - early June). Since we also kept the same timetable for lectures, my classmates who have returned to the US had to wake up at ungodly hours in the morning sometimes! I have completed one exam and I still have two more, which have been rescheduled due to the pandemic to late September. North American College or National Australian College? That is the running joke, now. For the first time in history, the Australians are the majority at the North American College! We decided to take the community photo above. There are also seminarians from Nigeria and El Salvador who are studying for dioceses in the United States, but they cannot return home. Ordination Preparation As I prepare to return to Australia on July 20, I ask for your prayers for safe travels and also for the preparation for Priestly Ordination. After having spent a week on retreat, I am grateful to God for his many blessings upon us all, despite the Sandhurst seminarian in Rome soon returning home Adi Indra, top right, with other Australians remaining at the North American College, Rome. By Adi Indra difficult situations that are affecting all of us. Priestly ordination is not a right, but it is a gift from God given to us, unworthy and frail men, and that is why we will always need your prayers so that we always be faithful to His call, to serve God and His people.