New York, Pittsburgh & Latrobe June 14th-15th 2009

So let’s have a look at some interesting events at the beginning of my trip. My first destination was a center of Opus Dei in New York, but in order to get there I needed to take the subway. There I got lost because of unclear maps, I lost my metro card, too, and felt very insecure because of all the masses of people from all over the world, Asian, African, Hispanic… But finally I found the beautiful center and met some nice friends.

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Then I took one of the famous yellow NY cabs and got on the night bus to Pittsburgh. The bus wasn’t too good, the driver was unpleasant, and a Russian drunk sat next to me. At each stop the driver put the lights on and woke everyone up. In Pittsburgh no one seemed to have a map, the city was not at all prepared for tourists. Luckily there was a map in the newspaper article that, to my surprise, informed me that there would be a parade in celebration of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup victory just that noon! So I found my way and took part in the party, which took place just outside a Catholic church where I attended noon Mass:

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And thus Purgatory ended and Paradise started. After getting a glimpse of ”Lord Stanley” and some of the Penguins, I was picked up by an ex-Reformed Catholic theologian and driven to Latrobe, PA to attend a conference on the Gospel of St. Paul in Romans. We had an intense discussion in the car and many more with other theologians at the seminary where the conference took place: St. Vincent Seminary. The Benedictines chose a beautiful place for their monastery. Even top sports teams go there to practise:

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The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology was kind enough to sponsor me to this conference suited mainly for priests, deacons and seminarians. In addition to me there were only a few other lay theologians. I had a nice room, too, near two of the presenters, doctors of theology Scott Hahn and Brant Pitre, whose work I’ve been admiring for quite some time.

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The first evening we had the first talk by Dr. Hahn, the founder and president of the St. Paul Center. After the talk we had a chance to socialize, get to know each other and some new publications as well as talk some solid Catholic theology. This atmosphere was something I can’t find in Finland, and it certainly gave me energy and inspiration for the whole upcoming academic year. My thanks to Drs Hahn&Pitre and John Kincaid.

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