May 31, 2009: rose petals rain through the open oculus of Rome's Pantheon (the Basilica of Sancta Maria ad Martyres) during their annual celebration on the Solemnity of Pentecost while the Veni Sancte Spiritus is chanted.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Just a taste...and bring it all back!
Honestly, one of the holiest men I've ever had the honor to meet was this saint and this photo was taken just the moment before we shook hands last autum in the restort town of Imperia, on the Ligurian Sea.
Meet Padre Stefano Maria Manelli, born in 1933. In 1970 he founded the Franciscans of the Immaculate. This is a man who knew Padre Pio and enjoyed him as a spiritual father. Padre Pio, as a famous stigmatist, often prayed for Padre Stefano and gave him advice. In fact, they were friends and Padre Stefano's parents knew Padre Pio, too. These same parents (a saintly couple), gave birth to twenty-one children and Padre Stefano is one of those blessed souls.
Palazzo Pediconi, nel quale Eugenio Pacelli vide la luce il 2 marzo 1876.
Somebody has got to say some prayers and make an offer on this downtown Rome flat where the future Pius XII was born so that we can finally have a museum there dedicated to his memory (a museum which should have been opened seventy years ago, in 1939).
Why? Every single twentieth century pope - except for Pius XII - has a museum in the rooms of his birthplace dedicated to his saintly memory.
On the "secondo piano" (third floor from the top) of this Rome palace is the flat where the future Pope Pius XII was born on March 2, 1876. The family rented the flat at that time and it was called the Palazzo Pediconi in the old Rione Ponte neighborhood. The street name then was Via di Monte Giordano, but is today called Via degli Orsini, 34.
In Carpineto Romano is the museum at the birthplace of Leo XIII, in Riese Pio X is the museum at the birthplace of Pius X, in Genova is the museum at the birthplace of Benedict XV, at Desio is the museum at the birthplace of Pius XI, at Sotto il Monte is the museum at the birthplace of John XXIII, at Concesio is the museum at the birthplace of Paul VI, at Canale d'Agordo is the museum at the birthplace of John Paul I and at Wadowice is the museum at the birthplace of John Paul II.
And for Pius XII? Nothing, yet.
Millions of pilgrims and tourists arrive in Rome each year and just a minute walk off main street in the heart of downtown Rome is the birthplace of Pius XII, still a private residence that ought to be purchased and made into a museum as soon as possible.
Anybody want to take up this cause?
Friday, May 29, 2009
Multas tibi gratias ago hoc pro nuntium quod amicis meis dabo. Heri cum Reginaldo locutus sum. Valet. Cura, ut optime valeas.
This is the old summer villa of the Pacelli family located 65 km from Rome in the beach town of Santa Marinella. The villa was owned by Pope Pius XII's sister and the Pacelli family only just sold it in about 2004 and now it's divided between a few different families. It's not on the seashore, but just a one minute walk from the sea. From the roof they enjoyed a lovely view of the sea and we were just there with Sr. Margherita Marchione (we met with the mayor about getting a plaque put on the front facade). Sr. Margherita met Pius XII in 1957 as she was a friend of his niece who lived on the Via Nomentana and studied in America.
Describe to them what the profane is and then teach them what the opposite is, the sacred.
Teach them that the profane is to have nothing to do with the sacred liturgy.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
They only have two tables outside, but the best is to get a plate (their stuff is the finest old-school Italian food) and enjoy a drink at this fine eatery.
They have prodotti tipici from all over Italy.
Just tell the guy what you want and he will make your plate. If you don't speak Italian, just point.
Via delle Fornaci, 46
This means the first week of class each class gets out early and the last weeek of class each class gets out early or is cancelled.
Truth be told, it's a fine tradition.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Wigratzbad is located twenty km northeast of the Bavarian town of Lindau and 190 km southeast of Stuttgart and 160 km southwest of Munich.
It's best to have a rental car. There are lots of rural bed and breakfast places in the area.
In the town of Wangen (5 km from Wigratzbad):
Hotel Blaue Traube
Hotel - Garni Engelberg
In the town of Neuravensburg (10 km from Wigratzbad):
Waldgasthof Zum Hirschen
Monday, May 25, 2009
But, don't be duped, Catholic youth. The Holy Ghost was not out to lunch and did not get it wrong until the sixties.
Remember what the Word says: "God does not repent of the gifts He makes" (Rom. 11:29).
God got it right. He always gets in right. What Mother Church has given, we take.
Even as a kid while attending Holy Mass with my parents I can still remember always feeling bad about the liturgical diminution that was so clear to me even as a kid. My constant question was: "Why do I see nobody in this church acting as if this is really Jesus Christ?"
The joy with the Extraordinary Form is that the rights of the laity are again guaranteed. No more, "Hi, I'm the priest and this is my Mass and I'll do whatever I want." Again we have rules and people who believe and act that Jesus Christ is really, truly and substantially present atop the altar of sacrifice.
The invisible attributes of God are clearly seen in the Extraordinary Form. This is His plan as His everlasting power and divinity are to be understood through the things that are made and lived in the liturgical rites. We all learn to know the hidden things from those things which are manifest and this holds true in the liturgical rites, too. The old rites teach our kids as they taught our ancestors to consider in spirit the greatness of the Maker from the greatness and majesty seen in the rites. Yes, by all means have High Mass, and a choir and much ceremony and allow the rites to teach!
"Majesty" is seen in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite. Since we cannot see Him with the sight of our eyes we learn to know Him from the greatness, power and majesty of this ancient ordo - a gift from the Son to the Father in the Holy Spirit. Learning to know the hidden things from those which are manifest is the name of the game with the Usus Antiquior and solemn splendor is the order of the day.
God has mercifully mitigated our punishment by cursing not so much man as our labors on earth. We toil and are poor. We suffer and are broken. But in the Extraordinary Form we find our beauty and solemnity and majesty and this is all protected for us by law and custom and this protects our rights as laity. Christ is both human, yes, but also divine and in the Extraordinary Form we see the divine and this is what we have been longing for again!
Catholics, welcome home and teach your kids the spirituality of the ancient Usus Antiquior of the Roman rite.
Holy Mass was celebrated inside this lovely country chapel in the hills north of Rome. It was a splendid experience to pray here in the countryside of Lazio. The private chapel was constructed in the nineteenth century and is located on the old estate of a bishop's summer villa, hunting acreage and hobby farm. In former years visiting clergy would celebrate Holy Mass in the chapel while shepherds from the area were invited to participate. Just another day in Catholic Italy!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
First can be seen the guestbook from the anniversary Mass celebrated in 2002. Notice how the priest signs his name with "Sac." for priest.
This is the new plaque which was just yesterday blessed in honor of Fr. Quoëx who passed away in 2007. Born in Savoy, this good and holy priest worked in Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland where he passed away in Lausanne when he was just thirty-nine.
This past Thursday in Rome Sen. Andreotti presented Sr. Margherita Marchione's latest book: Pope Pius XII: An Anthology on the 70th Anniversary of Coronation (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2009, 16 euro).
You have to understand priesthood and victimhood if you're going to make it (that you are both offerer and offered).
Friday, May 22, 2009
All ten Orbis Catholicus albums (almost 900 MB) can be found under the name: JPSonnen.
UPDATE: try this link: http://picasaweb.google.com/JPSonnen .
Obam encourages us to have a courage to change.
Meanwhile, the politic of our leadership is still telling us that we need to be more "modern " in our liturgy. "Fuuuny!" is what grandma used to say.
NAC seminarians boast: "Wait guys, it will just take a new generation of bishops and the board will change."
Anyways, it sure is a nice altar: a period piece. Yes, very fifties. Artful. Even blessed by Pius XII, of blessed memory.
It was Msgr. Hickey who did away with this altar. He's already been dead for almost ten years. Time flies! And change is in the air...Introibo ad altare Dei!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Meet "Bopi." To us kids that was his name. In fact, until now I never even knew his real name, John. When we knew him back in the eighties he was already, to us kids, as old as dirt. This Monday Bopi passed away at the age of 89. I miss you, Bopi!
The last time I spoke with Bopi was in about 2002. As kids it was always a big deal when Bopi came to visit. If one word could describe our childhood picture of Bopi it was this: he's a big guy who has a big smile and is always super nice!
When Bopi came, Kathy came, too. Kathy was one of the most important first lessons of my life. These lessons are best learned during our formative years. Being with Kathy was the first time in my life I had to sit across the table from someone who was really, really "different." Kathy suffered from health issues and to us kids she was just "retarded." In other words, Kathy was rich and so was Bopi.
Life lessons are worth gold. And character is compacted through struggle. Bopi lost his wife and battled with health issues for years. He was always cheerful. "Hi! How are ya!!" was his way. Always a smile. Always roaring laughter at the table. Always a quiet presence.
Endurance! Kathy is still here and so are Bubs and Mare and everybody else and Bopi lived to be 89! And most imporantly Bopi has left a progeny through his grand kids - he lives on. And John Iver's humor was born from him.
Last but not least, Bopi kept the promised faith. In an era when so very many have left the Christian nest, Bopi remained a true Christian. This is a gift and mystery:
"It is only through the Holy Spirit that anyone can say, Jesus is the Lord."
1 Corinthians 12:3.
A Requiem Mass will be prayed for the soul of John (aka Bopi) this week in Rome. In your charity please pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace. Amen.
And the Whirlpool money? Well, save some for John Paul, Bopi!
Via Plauto, 24 (Borgo Pio S. Pietro)
It's a nice place with two young kids who cut hair there.
I was there once, but never again. A haircut is a sacred action: the barber shop is to be dumpy and the barber is to be an old guy. Those were the rules since our boyhood and my brother and I still abide by them ad perpetuum rei memoriam.
The Ristornate Papa Rex is a really fun place to eat, and its just next to the Vatican (Via Aurelia, 87).
It's a big place open for lunch and dinner and each evening they have a dinner show with live music including opera arias and traditonal Italian folk music.
They even organize theme dinners upon request - perfect if you have a group of high school or college kids.
See here: http://www.paparex.it/.
Camping Village Roma
Via Aurelia 831
Rome has 3 camping villages, but this one is the best.
It's cheap and nice. The girls that work at the entrance all speak English.
On the map it looks way out, but I've walked it once and it isn't bad. Lots of buses and a giant grocery store across the street.
Via Aurelia N. 822
Rome has more than one Panorama (even on the metro line) and it's a big help with hard to get items. It's like a giant grocery store that sells everything else, too.
When you walk through the home and garden section it will carry you back home!
Also, is it just me or does any other expat living in Italy get an odd feeling of being at home while at a gas station on the autostrada? It's the only place I get the strange feeling of being back in America.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
This past Saturday a dozen of us Rome students set out early for the famous seven church pilgrimage in Rome.
The show will be aired Sunday evening in Rome at 8 o'clock on TeleVita (Rome-Lazio) channel 6.
Sr. Margherita was invited to introduce her latest book entitled Papa Pio XII An Anthology on the 70th Anniversary of Coronation (a fabulous read!) and then they asked me to be on the show, too, as a "theologian" to offer a reflection.
Under the lights and camera these words helped:
"My grace is enough for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
"Ask, and the gift will come" (Luke 11:9).
"Words will be given you when the time comes" (Matthew 10:19).
It was all in Italian and we had a blast!
Monday, May 18, 2009
The inspiration was a devout American student living in Rome, Mary Gibson. Mary had a popular Rome photo blog and explained that it was easy, fun and free:
The truth is I didn't even really know what a "blog" was.
Then, on the birthday of Pope John Paul II, this blog was born.
And what happened to this inspirational Catholic woman named Mary? Well, through the grace of God she has joined the convent:
Mary, thank you for being the inspiration for this blog and may the Lord reward you always!
I hope the faithful will pray with each holy image they see on the Internet: Adorabimus in loco ubi steterunt pedes ejus (We shall adore in the place where His feet have stood). Be led to holiness through images.
If you like any of these images, save them to your own computer as this blog will not be around forever.
"We must be able to radiate the joy of Christ, express it in our actions. If our actions are just useful actions that give no joy to people, our people would never be able to rise up to the call which we want them to hear - the call to come closer to God."
Sunday, May 17, 2009
In case you haven't heard, this 2006 film is a pro-life landmark. "Bella," the film, is a classic where life is chosen over death (abortion).
Yesterday, at the newly reopened Auditorium Coniliazione down the street from the Vatican, there was a screening of this film hosted by Italy's pro-life Movimento Per La Vita and the lead actor, Eduardo Verastegui.
Eduardo, who is a celebrity actor from Mexico, lead a fruitful discussion/reflectoin after the film and needless to say it was a real treat to hear the courage of his pro-life and pro-family convictions spoken so openly in the public forum.
Yes, there is hope.
Giovedì 21 maggio, ore 16.00
“Sala Conferenze”Palazzo Marini della Camera dei Deputati - Via del Pozzetto, 158
SUOR MARGHERITA MARCHIONE
“Papa Pio XII Un’antologia di testi nel 70° anniversario dell’Incoronazione”, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Il Dr. Alberto De Marco Presidente dell’Associazione Amici di Totò…a prescindere! – Onlus, organizza in collaborazione con il Prof. Livio Spinelli, Presidente del Gruppo Archeologico di Santa Marinella, del Comitato di Papa Pacelli, della prestigiosa Fondazione Pave The Way Foundation inc, del Solidalitium Internationale Pastor Angelicus, dell’Assep (Associazione Sviluppo Sociale e Professionale), Onlus e dell’Associazione Mondoconsumatori, la presentazione del nuovo libro della suora americana Margherita Marchione per giovedì 21 maggio dalle ore 16.00 alle ore 20.00, presso la prestigiosa “Sala Conferenze”, Palazzo Marini della Camera dei Deputati in Via del Pozzetto, 158. Madre Marchione che ha la veneranda età di 86 anni parteciperà all’importante manifestazione. Nel corso della sua vita è stata autrice di oltre venti libri relativi alla figura di Papa Pio XII ed è impegnata attualmente nella realizzazione di un Museo in America dedicato al Pontefice. La nuova pubblicazione che sarà presentata alla Camera dei Deputati ha il titolo suggestivo: “Papa Pio XII Un’antologia di testi nel 70° anniversario dell’Incoronazione”, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. La manifestazione sarà presentata dall’attore Angelo Blasetti. Alcuni brani del libro saranno letti dall’attore e regista Arnaldo Ninchi. La manifestazione avrà inizio con il saluto del Segretario di Stato del Vaticano, di Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Bertone. Relazioneranno: il Consigliere Capo Servizio della Presidenza della Repubblica, Docente Universitario e nuovo Presidente del Sindacato dei Funzionari del Quirinale, Dott. Tito Lucrezio Rizzo; il Comm. Emilio Artiglieri, Avv. Rotale, Segretario e Coordinatore del Comitato Papa Pacelli; il Maestro Georges de Canino, artista e storico della Shoah; il Prof. Grazioli Porfirio, Presidente della “Città dei Ragazzi”; il Dott. Rolando Clementoni, Gentiluomo di Sua Santità Benedetto XVI, Responsabile per l’Italia della PAVE – THE WAY FOUNDATION INC. Parteciperanno il Senatore Giulio Andreotti, la principessa Elettra Marconi, figlia dello Scienziato Premio Nobel; l’Avv. Daniele Costi; il Dott. Giancarlo Lombardi, Presidente dell’Assep; il Segretario della Comunità ebraica di Roma, il Dott. Emanuele Di Porto; il Presidente dell’Associazione E.T.I.C.A (Teatro Ebraico Internazionale Culturale ed Arte), Sergio Tagliacozzo; il regista Enrico de Bernart (il nonno materno era il Prof. Israel Zoller, Capo Rabbino durante l’occupazione nazista); il Vice Presidente dell’Istituto di Medicina Solidale, il Dott. Loris Facchinetti; il Maestro Irio Ottavio Fantini, giornalista e pittore del Vaticano; l’Avv. Ugo Pansolli, Consigliere Eurispes; il Dott. Claudio Procaccia, dell’Archivio Storico della Comunità ebraica di Roma; il regista Vincenzo De Sio; il Prof. Francesco Amicucci, Docente Universitario della Lateranense e Senior Legal Advisor dell’AnsaldoBreda; la Prof.ssa e poetessa Emilia Palmieri Collins; il Col. Vincenzo Conte; il Duca di Willemburg Riccardo Giordani, Maggiore Commissario del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta; il giornalista e scrittore Prof. Mario De Rossi e il Delegato per l’Italia del Solidalitium Internationale, Dott. John Paul Sonnen. Durante la serata il pubblico potrà vedere l’intervista allo storico Prof. Michael Tagliacozzo ed altresì i filmati inediti del 1934 del Cardinale Eugenio Pacelli e dei periodi successivi alla sua Incoronazione, dove risulta evidente anche il suo aiuto concreto per i perseguitati. A tal proposito il Presidente dell’Associazione Amici di Totò, dal materiale inedito di Pio XII che ha ricevuto in donazione, ha fatto trasferire dal tecnico di fiducia le immagini che erano sulle vecchie pellicole dei 16 millimetri. Dopo gli interventi dei Relatori è previsto il dibattito.
DOTT. ALBERTO DE MARCO
A wealthy American couple, Thomas and Irene Bradley, paid for the construction of this "modern" Rome parish completed in 1952. What's unique here is that they built this church on on the famous Rome street called the Via Delle Sette Chiese in which St. Philip himself walked every day for ten years as he made Rome's famous "VII Church Pilgrimage."
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Sixties jubilance, kiddies? Yes, another palsied altar. You might laugh, but this helter-skelter altar - in this position - is an actual set-up in a prominent Rome church.
Catholics have been rankled in recent years by so much dumbness in the Church. Meanwhile, the imponderables continue (and the uneducated laity are still expected to put up with it). Why such a galling image you ask? What pastor gave the go-ahead for such an odd drawback?
Capitalizing on the sixties, and yes, capitalizing on dumbness remains in vogue. And notice the already perfectly good (consecrated, stone) altar behind this concoction?
Friday, May 15, 2009
May 13, 2009: Eucharistic procession with Archbishop Raymond Burke. Faculty, staff and students chant the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and that of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Latin.