Seminarian Summer: It’s All Latin to Me

Karl Romkema, Jr

Summer is upon us, and although our seminarians are out of their regular classes, they still stay pretty busy. Over the next several weeks, we will check in with some of them to see what's keeping them busy for the Lord this summer and how they are using this time to continue to prepare to serve the Church. We start with Karl Romkema, a rising junior at Old College.

This summer I am excited to be studying Beginning Latin at the University of Notre Dame. I am taking two intensive three-week courses back-to-back for a total of six weeks. The courses require that I be in class for 3 1/2 hours a day, five days a week, and include additional homework on the side. It may sound exhausting, but the work itself isn't too difficult – only time consuming. I am one of a few undergraduate students in a class which is made up of mostly graduate students from various departments of the university.

I am excited to study Latin for a number of reasons. Besides being a requirement for my major of Philosophy and Theology, Latin is the language of the Church. The Catholic Church has a rich and beautiful Tradition which is deeply rooted in the Latin language. My first hope is that my Latin studies give me the means to better understand and tap into this Tradition. My second hope is that Latin will be an aid for furture studies and worship in the Divine Liturgy, especailly in my upcoming semester in Rome. My third and most ambitious hope is that I will have a chance to speak to the Pope in Latin while I'm there!

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