Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, clinical associate professor of pastoral studies and associate dean for seminary and ministerial programs at The Catholic University of America, is in a cold place.
The priest, who spent more than 12 years at the helm of the St. Luke Institute, a treatment center in Maryland for priests and religious with addictions or psychological problems, has been spending the month of December in Antarctica as the Catholic chaplain to the American and New Zealand communities working for the National Science Foundation.
The priest has been sharing some of his South Pole reflections here.
It turns out this trip is a repeat journey for him. He writes that when he was asked by a friend why he would go back to Antarctica there is no simple answer.
But staying in this place far removed from the rest of the world for a limited time draws inevitable comparisons to spiritual life.
He writes: “We are pilgrims, and the journey is so very brief. But, for these 30 days, I am fortunate to be on this rock of ice with a sturdy group of brothers and sisters who are valiantly living in this most inhospitable place. They are devoting their time to science or to helping those who do. They are savoring their experience — each person volunteered to come. But everyone of us is aware that we are pilgrims here. Antarctica is not home but a way-station. So too is this earth but a way-station for a life to come without end.”