Buon giorno, Italia Day 7: When in Rome….

My first visit to the Vatican:
There are not enough words in the English language to describe how excited I was about being at the Vatican for the first time on Wednesday …. A fantastic day to cap off a perfect week.
At the Pontifical North American College with Baltimore seminarian Kevin Ewing before the papal audience.
George and I headed out bright and early to the Pontifical North American College to connect with Baltimore seminarian Kevin Ewing. We then walked down to St. Peter’s Square where we had spectacular seats for Pope Francis’ Wednesday Audience.
Finally seeing Pope Francis:
I was able to get near the front barricade and get some perfect photos at the barricade before the elevated papal stage. Praise God. The Holy Father circled in front of me **three** times in the Popemobile before his audience began. Wow. Speechless…
Pope Francis on popemobile
The second time he came round, I watched him let the two young boys into the Popemobile for a ride. How adorable. And hearing the English language commentator announce “The John Carroll School from Bel Air, Maryland” was just great!!
Vatican tour:
Afterward, George and I rejoined our JC group for a tour of the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Again, there are no words to adequately describe the feeling of being in the Sistine Chapel. It was quite a sacred time as we gazed on the paintings and frescos. The creation of man was perhaps the one that most affected me. I couldn’t stop looking back up at it.
And then to enter St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time and see so many of the images that I have studied and taught…. Spectacular.
The Pieta by Michelangelo.
Praying in St. Peter’s Basilica at the burial place of Blessed Pope John Paul II who will be canonized next Sunday.
Setting up for the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica after the Wednesday Audience concluded just outside.
Vatican Museum:
Vatican Museum

Oldest tapestry on display at the Vatican Museum is over 500 years old.
On the way out, we took photos in St. Peter’s Square and headed out to get the JC kids more gelato. They have enjoyed it at least once each day.
We headed to dinner where there was a lesson in making the perfect pizza.
Emily (left) and Micaela
 The Kern Family: Jeff, Emily, Roxanne

Señora Michael and Lily
Avery, McKenna, Eleanor, Rachel, Noelle, and Madysen
Next came an evening bus/walking tour of Rome, and then on to making our wishes at the famous Trevi Fountain before heading back to our hotel so the students could pack up,
The sad point in this most memorable day was saying “Arrivederci” to my students and friends who would depart for home at 4 a.m. Thursday morning.
George and I are extending our stay in Rome for five days at a hotel near St. Peter’s Square. There is so much left for us to see. But we will cover a few of those places without my students.
Until tomorrow, ciao from Roma!!

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.