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on the road together (01)

18 Oct

There is a three-week Synod on the Family taking place at the Vatican. I just want to be in the neighborhood during the last (third) week of the synod and for a few days after the closing of the synod. So, tomorrow I leave Dayton for the flight to Rome, coming home on the 28th.

I asked the tour agent for a hotel that was close to the Vatican, clean, with good Internet. He has put me up at the Domus Carmelitana, which is a 15-minute walk from St. Peter’s Basilica. I will sleep in the same hotel nine nights in a row.


Not much is on my radar or agenda. I have a ticket to attend the General Audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday, October 21, and the Closing Mass of the Synod on Sunday, October 25. Being in the sardine section for both events, I do not have any great hopes of seeing Francis close up. I’ll also go to the Angelus gathering with Pope Francis at Noon on Sunday, October 25, with tens of thousands of other believers, pilgrims, tourists and fans. Touring the Vatican Gardens is the one touristy thing that I wanted to make sure that I did, so I bought two tickets: one for Thursday and one for Friday, just in case it rains on Thursday; if I like it, I can tour twice. Other than that I plan on walking to St. Peter’s Basilica every day, several times a day, and doing whatever else strikes my fancy, whenever it strikes my fancy.

I have printed out two articles to read on the plane: “An interview with Archbishop Blasé Cupich of Chicago” and “Pope Francis address at synod’s 50th anniversary.”

The word “synod” has its origin in a Greek word, σύνοδος (synodos), meaning “on the road together.”

I like that: on the road together. I like that a lot!

and to all a good night

4 Oct

The hall awaits the 270 synod fathers from all continents and the 48 other participants, including 18 married couples.

photo synod hall empty

Here’s hoping that they all get a good night’s sleep. 


3 Oct


“Every family is always a light, however faint, amid the darkness of this world”

Pope Francis, 3 October 2015

let us pray

3 Oct

In the Vatican this evening there was a prayer vigil in anticipation of the beginning of the Synod on the Family tomorrow. Will you join these people in prayer as soon as you finish looking at these photos?


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