We arrived back in Rome, with no train strike to report----thanks be to God!
Off to Sunday Mass at the Oratory of St Francis Xavier del Caravita---one of the Roman parishes that provides mass in English. It turns out that there was quite a Seattle reunion----our friend, AJ Boyd was serving mass (along with being a wonderful friend and tour guide when we were in Rome), and some other folks that we met. Cardinal Peter Turkson was the presider, and we had the chance to meet him after mass.
I'm posting a photo of how the Italians 'do' their post-mass social hour----no donuts, no coffee----it's Prosecco and OJ (and some snacks). American parishes, take note!
We also walked over to Trastevere, Rome's 'boho' district and visited the magnificent Santa Maria in Trastevere, the oldest church in Rome that is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Fr Robert Barron is in Rome this weekend, filming a new series, and he was either there right before or right after we were.....
We almost crashed a wedding.....that was odd. Bridal party all marched in, everyone is waiting at the altar, no bride. 10 min later, a car pulls up---out pops the bride and her father----the music starts, up the aisle she went, and there you are. I guess that is how you do things when there is no such thing as a "bride's room'----eh?
We also stopped by the Gesu church----shout out to the Jesuits!
On Monday, we got to breakfast late----and it is a good thing that we did, or we would have missed someone important! As we arrived in Rome, Fr Jim emailed me to say that Fr. Michael from Magadan (http://www.magadancatholic.com) who has visited our parish, was in Rome, giving a retreat for the Missionaries of Charity, and perhaps I would run into him in the streets of Rome. Yeah, right.
I ran into him at breakfast.
He shared a wonderful story of writing to the pope to say that he would be in Rome and would love to visit, and the pope responded by inviting Fr Michael to concelebrate mass with him! We also met Fr Brian Lawless, who is the vice postulator for the canonization cause of Matt Talbot. What a day!
1. Post mass social hour
2. St Francis Xavier del Caravita
3. Cardinal Turkson and Seattle folks
4. Terri, me, Fr Michael Shields, Fr Brian Lawless
5. Gesu Church
6. Santa Maria in Trastevere