Today was a really Roman experience to be sure.
After a beautiful morning of prayer and breakfast looking at St. Peter’s we said good-bye to Fr. Eric Nielsen and Fr. Jerome Kish. Then I took the men down to the Basilica where we met the great Dony MacManus who gave the men a fantastic art tour of the great shrine of Christendom.
Seemed like a perfect time for me to undertake a needful task, get bus tickets for the men. So, across the square and a walk to the metro station Ottaviano.
Now on the way there one passes one of the Roman shopping districts and I had the opportunity to notice something, the Romans have a fanatics selection of clothes for women. Stylish cuts, many different colors and patterns, variety of design, modest tops, nice length on the bottom. True there is plenty of immodesty to go around, but so much selection that is modest, stylish and attractive. Ladies of America, take heart, there is much sartorial hope.
But then I got to they metro (subway) stop and what to I learn. Metro strike, no service. Awesome. So, a length walk back to the right bus stop and on to a packed bus. My favorite was the smell of sweat and cigarette smoke. Arrive at the central station, Termini and learn: Atac (public transit) offices closed. Why? Who knows. So, down to a local shop for the special monthly tickets (which they miraculous have) but, they only take cash. Ok – off to the bancomat (ATM) but, uh oh, all the bancomats in Termini are not working. All of them? O yes. So, trek to the nearest bancomat which, as you might imagine is a lengthy ways away. By the time I get money I am a great distance from Termini and starting to run late, no time to get to Termini and back. So, into every store, with the ‘do you have the monthly tickets?’ Answer, ‘no.’ Finally place has them, 20 of them, and I need 34. So, particular success and a truly Roman morning. What was a pleasant morning when I might have covered 3 tasks but ended up rushed and hurried and covering about 2/3 of a task. O felix Roma!
As reward I sat at the Borgo Pio for lunch and met some of the men and Dony for pleasant chat. I also found a great picture of Pope Francis that is sitting on my desk now.
The afternoon was free for the men. Two great priest, Fr. David Kime and Fr. Christopher Mahar arrived to serve as Spiritual Directors – great news for us and the men. We prayed, had dinner, a get-together, Rosary, Night Prayer, figuring out how to get to the American Embassy and off to blog.
Love you all, pray for the Rome Experience!