The flight was mercifully uneventful. I was, however, able to buy some outward bound marines a drink on the plane.
A shot from the cab on the way into town while we were stuck at a light.
Having checked in at the place we are staying (I will be helping with a pilgrimage) I sought breakfast at Sant’Eustachio while a room was being readied.
I met with a my thesis director for lunch and then made my way to the Chiesa Nuova for Mass. The sacristan there was rather like the usual sacristan in Rome during the 90′s: not too helpful, invasive with the edge of hostile.
Aside from the hideous vestment (they used to put out better), I said Mass for you who are benefactors at the altar where the body of St. Philip Neri is to be venerated. He is a great patron of mine.
What was interesting, however, is that afterward there were three young priests lined up to say Mass… to concelebrate in the old fashioned way: to say the older form of Mass and serve for each other. Three young guys, all saying the older form. They had the travel altar cards I advertise on the sidebar! They all read the blog and were happy to meet me. Fun and encouraging. Here is one of them in action. I am not sure why the purple, given the presence of St. Philip and that it was 7 October.
After Mass we had a stroll and wound up at P.za Navona. I had a Crodino (non-alcoholic – because of my jet lag).
For supper we sought a tiny restaurant I have frequented for years. It is in the street that runs alongside Sant’Agostino in the Via die Pianellari: Da Pietro Valentini. They do a lot of things with truffles. My friend, the great Roman Fabrizio was able to join us.
Cacio e pepe con tartufo nero.
Afterwards we retired to the hotel terrace for a cigar and more talk.
So, we are off to the races. I had a connectivity problem yesterday (hey! It’s Rome! If I am here, there have to be connectivity problems), but today I think it is sorted out.
I would be grateful for prayers for good weather and good health, and for the safety and fruitful experiences of those who will join the pilgrimage this evening as it officially begins.
I should be able to say Mass for benefactors (people who donate and send stuff from my wish lists) in Rome again, perhaps Wednesday, 9 October.
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