ITALY | Province of St. Catherine of Siena Receives Profession of Roman Priest
In a solemn rite celebrated during the vespers of 23 June 2021, Fr. Alessandro Caserio, a priest of the Diocese of Rome, made profession in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic. He made his perpetual promise at the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva before Brother Antonio Cocolicchio, OP, Provincial Promoter of the fraternities, who was also the prior of the convent. Also present with the community of friars in the liturgy were Brother Florentino Bolo, OP, General Promoter of the priestly fraternities, Brother Javier Abanto, OP, General Promoter for Communications, as well as other priests of the diocese.
Born in Rome on 23 July 1980, Fr. Alessandro left his job in 2012, working as a successful architect in an American firm, in order to begin his path towards the priesthood. He underwent initial formation at the Pontificio Seminario Romano Maggiore and completed his baccalaureate in Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University. He was ordained a priest on 12 May 2019 by Pope Francis at the Basilica of St. Peter, and was eventually asked to serve in the parish of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore in Tor Bella Monaca, where he currently serves as Parochial Vicar. He is likewise in the process of completing his studies in liturgy at the Pontificio Ateneo di Sant’Anselmo.
In his search for a spirituality to embrace in his priesthood, Fr. Alessandro was led to the Dominican Order following the advice of his spiritual director to read the book of M. Humbert Vicaire about the history of St. Dominic. This led to his more profound appreciation of the life of study, poverty and witness, which was all the more nourished through further readings on the works of St. Catherine of Siena, as well as of contemporary Dominican authors such as Br. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, and Br. Paul Murray, OP. At the invitation of Br. Antonio, he began attending meetings of the fraternity in February 2018. He was eventually received in the fraternities on 18 June 2020 during the Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus presided over by the Master of the Order, Brother Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP.
Fr. Alessandro draws much value in his fidelity to the Rule of the priestly fraternities. Having read and meditated on the Rule many times, he found in the Dominican Order a spirituality that is perfect for the life of a diocesan priest such that putting it into practice does not add burden, since its content is totally suited to his person and absolutely natural in the life of a priest. As the final part of the Rule aptly states, "That the priests of Saint Dominic may embrace their own obligations 'not as slaves under the law, but as free men under grace', it is defined that individual transgressions of the rule do not constitute moral fault." (Regula FSD no. 20 §1) Fully convinced that the Rule of the Dominican fraternities is a great grace for his priesthood, Fr. Alessandro hopes that following it would enable him to experience and affirm throughout his priestly life that freedom which only Christ can give. His reflection on the Dominican journey can be accessed at Ordo Prædicatorum.
Br. Florentino Bolo, OP