Sunday, May 29, 2016

My Father Visits

Well, it has been a while - but it's been busy: work and a 2-week-long visit from my father and his wife, Bernadetta.

You know how, when you live somewhere, you don't really go to visit places unless company comes?  Well, that was their visit.  We went all over the place - in fact I wore them out so much that they are now both sick back in Canada.  But we had a wonderful visit and got to see lots of things.

As those of you who read this blog are making this extraordinary journey with me, allow me to share our visit with you.

You've already seen their first weekend - when we went to the roof of the NAC for the spectacular view of Rome - and the visit of members of the Hartung family (formerly) from Waynesboro.  Well, following that weekend we started visiting places all over and around Rome.

On Friday we went to Ancient Ostia where there are excavations of the ancient port city - actually very near to current-day Fiumicino Airport.  Here are a series of photos from there (and I've tried to caption them so you know what we were seeing).
One of the several ancient streets
My father walking past the ruins of ancient Ostia

Dad and Bernadetta resting in the Teatro
Baths of Neptune - black & white tile work

The Theater

Following our visit to the excavations we drove into modern Ostia for a nice seafood dinner (being it was Friday and we were close to the shore).  Funny thing here - we had reservations (made online) for 6:30 - but they didn't open until 7pm.  They did open early for us, but were were the only ones in the restaurant the entire evening.  But we had a wonderful meal.

Saturday we headed a little further out of town to the retreat town of Castel Gandolfo - certainly a familiar name to everyone - the Pope's summer residence - at least for many popes.  Pope Francis prefers not to use it and instead stays in Rome all summer.  So, with the Holy Father not making use of it, they've turned part of it into a very nice museum about the Popes and the castle.  Prior to visiting the castle we had a very nice lunch by the lake - but unfortunately it was a VERY rainy, cold day - so we had no view at all.  But a nice meal none-the-less.  Here are some photos from our trip.

The Apostolic Palace - from inside.  The center balcony is where the Pope would hold his audience when in residence there.

These offices were all abolished by Paul VI

Officials uniforms for members of the Papal Court

The center balcony from the inside...

Sunday we went to the 10am Mass at Santo Spirito (in English) for Pentecost.  Very nice parish-like Mass there for English-speaking pilgrims.  Following Mass we went right out to the Square for the 12noon Angelus (or, since it was still Easter, the Regina Caeli).  Then I gave them a little rest for a day - while I headed back to work. We met up once again (several times) and went on the Scavi Tour.  These photos are of the box which contained the bones of St. Peter the Apostle.  The Scavi is an incredible visit - if you are in Rome, be sure to make arrangements to visit.

Then later in the week we visited the old Teutonic cemetery (and church) just inside the Vatican grounds.  We had made arrangements for dad to visit so that eh could play the organ a bit.  I also found fascinating the stonework in the church.

We later made a visit to St. Paul (Outside the Walls) and St. Mary Major (we didn't have time to get to the Lateran - dad and Bernadetta went on their own the next day).  I always love going to St. Paul's - because St. Paul is my confirmation sponsor - and I have a great devotion to him.  Here is the "confessio" at the Basilica - the place where he is buried.

Later in the week we had the opportunity to attend a special Jubilee Concert inside the Vatican City.  So we were able to get some photos from "inside."

That pretty much sums up their visit.  Next blog entry will be about my trip to Latvia this past weekend...  Stay tuned!  Promise it won't take me so long to post.


  1. Wonderful. Looking forward to your next blog. See you Friday night!

  2. Glad you had a good visit with family. Looking forward to all that you have to show us in Rome. Hard to believe that we leave in 2 weeks. Also wanted to thank you for your military service this Memorial Day.

  3. Happy Memorial Day from Waynesboro! The Saints are still undefeated! Our Lady of Victory...

  4. What a great visit! So glad you got some fun time with your dad and his wife. Missing you in Gettysburg!