Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blogging in Italy

As all my faithful readers know, my so-called "blog" is not the real thing--properly speaking, a blog is "usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video." Mind you, my readers don't do their part, either, since "most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments... and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites."  (See "Blog," on Wikipedia.)

However, since I'm travelling--and not preaching--I thought I'd "blog" a bit on this interesting week in Italy. I can't download the few photos I've taken, but will link to some websites showing some of the sites I've visited.

Soon after arriving, I met up with my Beda classmate Fr. Jock Dalrymple and we had lunch in central Rome with our mutual dear friend Marina, with whom we've stayed in constant touch over the years. In the evening I caught up with Canadian College housemate Fr, Owen Keenan, who is back in Rome working at the Vatican.

Bright and early on Wednesday, Jock and I headed by train to Urbino, about four hours from Rome. Dominated by the magnificent ducal palace, this jewel of a town was rich in both art and history, and we had two delightful days exploring its steep streets (Jock limping valiantly after badly spraining his ankle the night before he left Scotland).

Among Urbino's charms was a skating rink and an outdoor market celebrating the national holiday of the Immaculate Conception; we also found a restaurant specializing in the cooking of the Marches region, where we ate very well. We celebrated the feast day at a Mass with the bishop in a parish church.

On our way back to Rome, we visited Pesaro, a larger city where we caught the train. In a short time we had breakfast by the Adriatic Sea, visited the Cathedral--where stunning mosaics have been discovered on two levels below the church floor--and briefly explored the town.

Just a few hours after our return, we prayed Vespers (Evening Prayer) in the Sistine Chapel. It was a tremendous experience to have a chance actually to pray in that setting, usually filled with tourists.The small gathering was mostly Vatican officials and some friends.

All for now!


  1. Looks like a great time!!!

  2. That it was, and I'm only sorry I didn't have the time to blog about the rest of my travels. Made my umpteenth visit to Assisi and was rewarded not only with the usual beautiful sights, but the with discovery of a beautiful and prayerful church of San Stefano off a side street. I offered Mass at the Beda College, and visited the Basilica of San Lorenzo to pray for the men preparing to be deacons (St. Lawrence being a great patron of that order.) A highlight was a good chat with the Vatican's top canon lawyer, who was one of my professors, and who remains very interested in the work I did on the bishop's visitation of parishes. All in all, a great trip, though it ended sadly with a stopover in Toronto for the funeral of a friend. Now back safe and sound.