Thursday, October 31, 2013

At choir practice

The youth music kids are really into Halloween.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In the Progress

They just don't make headlines like they used to.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn leaves

I think there are two kinds of people in the world: people who rake leaves into piles and people who jump into piles of leaves. I am one of the former.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Home again

Yay, we are home where the weather is normal--50 degrees and foggy. Our flight included the following authentic conversation between the stewardess and a passenger a couple of rows behind us.

Stewardess: What would you like to drink, sir?
Man: Tea.
Stewardess: Ah, tea! Would you like to hear my teapot song?
Man: Not really.
Stewardess: But I have my own special lyrics. I think you'd like it.
Man: I'd rather not.
Stewardess: Well, then, that settles it. You don't get to hear my teapot song.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Arrivederci a Roma

There's nothing quite like ending a visit to Rome with a walk around the ruins with a brilliant Dominican, talking about St Ambrose.

At the audience

We stood next to a couple from Argentina. They had brought gifts for Pope Francis - maté, chocolate, a corporal, etc. They have eight children of whom they had a picture which they waved when Pope Francis came by.

PS: it turns out there were 90,000 people there. No wonder it was so crowded!

In St Peter's Square

The audience is more than an hour away and the Via della Conciliazione is already filling up. Quite unlike our previous audience experiences.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In line at the audience

Waiting in line for the audience is an experience like no other. It's worse, much worse. I calculated that I was being squeezed by six different people of three different nationalities. An Italian man got in a shoving match with an American woman. I do not recommend this experience to agoraphobes. Now, an hour an a half till Pope Francis appears!

A lecture at the Ang

Tonight we went to a lecture by the brilliant Paul Murray, OP at the Angelicum (also known as "the Ang"). We found out that the typical course-load in the Italian system is 7 or 8 classes per term. Since each class meets just twice a week and there is minimal homework, it works out fine.

Borghese graffiti

We just toured the Borghese gallery, filled with Berninis, Raphaels, and sundry other works. Cardinal Scipio Borghese's taste in art tended towards the steamy and classical. A few rooms were definitely PG-13. However, since photos are forbidden, I am illustrating this post with some Borghese garden graffiti.

Pines of Rome

We are at the Borghese gardens this morning.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Il gatto di Assisi

I miss you, Tommie and Hairy.

Santa Maria Maggiore

Santa Maria Maggiore in Assisi just may be more beautiful than Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

No foto, shhhh

At Santa Chiara's

Assisi is the most uphill city we've ever visited. Here is the view from the piazza in front of the Basilica of St Clare.

Still in Assisi

Is this a quotation from St Francis? So wise.

In Assisi

You're not allowed to take pictures in the Basilica, but the upper church is covered in Giottos and the lower church is covered in Simone Martinis.

En route to Assisi

We are on our way to Assisi! Last night we wandered by the Trevi Fountain. There's really nothing to do in the evening except wander around and eat out. Not that that's a bad thing.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A desperate desk

This is what the desk of someone working on a canon law doctorate looks like. (At the NAC.)

An ecumenical evening

The internet wasn't working on my phone last night so this is out of order. We had a lovely evening with our friend AJ who is working on a doctorate at the Angelicum. First we went to an ecumenical evensong service at the Caravita Church near Sant'Ignazio. The guest choir from the Episcopal Church sang Tallis' "Spem in Alium" in forty parts. It was simply astonishing. 

Still in Trastevere

Ecclesia triumphs over error with the help of her friends Faith, Hope, and Charity, along with their attendant virtues.

At Santa Maria in Trastevere

One of the oldest churches in Rome, and that's really saying something.

Some church or other

There are so many churches in Rome that I really have no idea where this beautiful Mary is should you want to see her in person one day.

Recreation at the NAC

The seminarians at the NAC don't spend all their time studying. They have an ongoing beanbag tournament in addition to foozball, touch football and rugby, and soccer. They also have an annual soccer tournament with other seminaries called the "Clericus Cup." Last year, they stomped on the Legionaries of Christ.

More from the NAC

The view from the roof of the college is really something.

At the NAC

This morning we went to Mass and brunch with two of our Seattle seminarians at the North American College. It's a huge place dedicated in 1948.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Still life at the Campo de Fiori

We would have tried the pomegranate juice if it hadn't been for the facial expressions of the other people drinking it.

View from the Gianicolo

A few steps from the North American College, site of the seminary studies of a few well known Church figures.

At Piazza Navona

A beautiful couple stopped to get their pictures taken among the street artists, bubble blowers, pashmina scarf sellers, and tourists.

At the Gesù

Everyone was taking pictures. Photo by M.

At San Andrea d. Valle

Studying Rome's second largest dome in a convenient mirror.

Miraculous image

Santa Maria in Aracoeli is also home to a miraculous image of the Child Jesus. Each year at Christmas (according to the literature) children come from all over Rome to see the nativity scene, which is set up in a side chapel that is always in readiness. Then, on Epiphany, all of Rome comes to the church for a special blessing with the miraculous image.

Santa Maria in Aracoeli

The stairs are excessive in number and steepness.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Near the Spanish steps

Moody works by Shelley and tea at Babington's.

At Keats' House

We shared the museum with a group of Catholic teens from near Manchester. "Have you heard of Shelley?" asked the guide. No answer. "How about Wordsworth, Coleridge?" Yeah, they'd heard of him. "Why do you think they were called Lake poets?" "Because they wrote about lakes." "What do you think 'Romantic' means?" "About love and stuff."

These are some lovely cut paper portraits of Keats and Fanny Brawne that were on display.