June 26, 2011

Roma Bound

I've only been out of the country a handful of times - three or four visits to Canada, a service trip to Costa Rica in 1998, a family trip to Ireland in 2001, and World Youth Day in Germany in 2005 (with a day trip to the Netherlands).  So I am pretty excited to be headed to Rome later today.  My amazing wife helped me pack this evening - I could never get dress shirts and pants so neatly folded in a suitcase.  She's the best!  She's also been to Rome about 8 times so she has given me a ton of advice and suggestions.  One thing she doesn't seem too worried about is being pick pocketed.  However, Mr. Andrew Nelson has guaranteed that one of us will be pick pocketed on this trip.  Do I have to resort to a fanny pack???


The Pallium
As I've mentioned previously, the reason we're going to Rome is because Archbishop Gerald Lacroix '75, the archbishop of Quebec, is receiving the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI.  The pallium is given to new archbishops every June 29 at Saint Peter's Basilica.  The pallium is a sign of the archbishop's authority and also symbolizes the yoke of his office.   This June 29 is also the 60th anniversary of Benedict's ordination to the priesthood so it will be extra special.

The Pallium Mass isn't until Wednesday so we will spend a lot of time seeing the sights of Rome.  We leave Boston today at 5:05pm, changing planes in Amsterdam at 6am local time (1am Boston time), and arrive in Rome at 9:30am on Monday (3:30am in Boston).  We'll spend the afternoon seeing some sites and we may attend a reception with the United States Ambassador to the Holy See (aka the Vatican) that evening. 

On Tuesday, we will have the honor of attending Mass in the Crypt of Saint Peter's Basilica.  As you may know, Saint Peter's is built upon the bones of the apostle Peter who we believe to be the first pope.  Archbishop Lacroix will celebrate this Mass.  Following Mass, we will get to tour the Sistine Chapel, some Vatican Museums, and other places in Rome.

The Pallium Mass is Wednesday followed by a reception with Archbishop Lacroix.  Later that evening we will attend a reception with the Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See.  On Thursday, we have the privilege of attending an audience with Pope Benedict and I think we will each get to say a few words to him.  Mr. Mailloux is bringing a gift on behalf of Trinity so look for some pictures of that special moment!

Friday and Saturday will be site seeing days and we leave on Sunday. 

The Trinity community will be in our constant prayers.  Please stay posted to this blog and our Facebook page as we will be providing continual updates.


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