Rome – Day 2: Rolling with the punches

Today I ran lots of little errands.

Included in the errands was a stop at Barbiconi to order up a new thurible and boat for the TMSM, especially for my use and for the bishop’s Masses.   I’ve been having terrible shoulder problems, so lifting the thurible up properly for incensation has been difficult.  The thurible we have is very nice to look at, was cheap, and weighs as much as a bowling ball with chains.  That doesn’t work for me.

So, this one is light and more traditional.

While I was waiting at Barbiconi for something I did a little dig through the special palls they make.  All of those on the right are Crosses or Marian initials.  In the center, papal arms.  However, in the back left are all the pall with Francis’s arms.  They aren’t selling.  I got the last B16.

Over to Gammarelli.   Today I ordered up a Solemn set in violet for Advent and Lent.  I really don’t like using pieces from the Pontifical set, since they wear unevenly.

Also, I am having an estimate readied for a Solemn set in THIS.

The red is the lining, obviously.  This set would match one that a newly ordained priest had made for his First Solemn Mass which I wrote about.   Here’s a glance:

Spiffy, no?   Here’s the idea.  He has a Solemn set.   I order a Solemn Set, but also with antependium and gremial.  That way, it can be used on its own, but with the supplement of his dalmatics, we can also trick out a Pontifical Mass at the Throne.

This will be expensive, I’m thinking.  I’ll get the estimate tomorrow.  However, I may come to all of you begging donations to the TMSM.

Meanwhile, light lunch out with a friend.  Mass at Ss. Trinità, where at the request of the pastor I heard in English a spectacular confession.   Dear readers, if nothing else good happened on this trip, that 15 minutes made it all worth it.  One your your fellow Catholics tonight is treading the ground far more lightly than just a few hours ago and a long time before that. God is good.  God is good.  His promises to the Church and to hearts are TRUE and He will not be forsworn.

Back to the apartment for some grub… and some flowers for the table.  It is still called Campo de’ Fiori for a reason.

In more ancient times, the once Via Florea came through here.  More on that later.

I get lots of my supplies at Ruggieri.

Tonight for dessert.

Some pre-prandial snacks.

A little veal roll and some squash stuffed with meaty and cheesy goodness.

There’s no true stove here and no oven and no microwave.  But… HEY!… when I was in the Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue I didn’t have those things either (I had a microwave), and for several years.  Hence, I learned how to make complicated things with great efficiency and limited space, heat, and tools.  There is an induction hot plate.  That’s what I used in the SPTDV.

I did not starve.  And I left some for tomorrow.

Alas, beneath my window at a restaurant, the worst accordion player in the world is attempting “Brucia la terra”.  My heavens, this is awful.   Worst in world… and that’s saying something.  Time to close the window and then my jet lagged eyes.  Not even this guy can keep me awake.


Now that it is after compline and a think back through the day, I can say that, many times today I caught myself walking around smiling.  I have turned out of most churchy news for about 48 hours and I am in the City, which I know so well.  My brain is waking up again from months of slumber and… I’ve just been going around smiling.

I’ll turn my attention to news again, soon, I suppose.   But not tonight.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    Thanks Father Z. I REALLY enjoy these mini-travelogues.


  2. Kathleen10 says:

    Thanks for a reminder there is beauty in life. It seems super important think for us to pursue beauty and peace and whatever simple pleasures we can find right now. I hope you stay in the happy zone for a while, as long as you can actually.
    Your solemn set will be just lovely. That looks really wonderful.
    What is wrong with your shoulder. We only really appreciate parts when they don’t work so well. Physical therapy can do a lot for shoulders, arms, etc. I tripped over a trash can once and had frozen shoulder, my rotator cuff or something. I went to a PT one time, she told me what needed to be done, I kept working at it, and, voila! God is so very good.

  3. Elizzabeth says:

    Perhaps the Francis palls are so popular that they’ve just re-stocked them… ;-)

  4. Kevin says:

    Oh how I love Roma! My bride and I are planning our next trip. Keep the travelogue coming Father.

  5. NBW says:

    Thank you for sharing, Father Z. I agree with acardnal; I enjoy the mini travelogues too!

  6. Fr_Andrew says:


    Excellent choice for fabric! Nice stuff.

    The only think I wish was different about that set was the chasuble. I’ve noticed Gammarelli likes those super-wide, but also super-short Italianate chasubles, however they always just look off to me, especially since the front often is longer that the back, and on a tall priest the back seem to barely cover the area below the waist. Granted, most Romans were not giants, and the longer front like charity covereth a multitude (aka “the fullness of the priesthood”).

    When I visited the parochial church and home of St. Pius X and saw some of the vestments he gave to them (now in a museum setting), I figured out why I don’t like Gammarelli’s cut. Those vestments are nice and wide, but also very long. On a 5’11” guy like me they would come within 10″ of the floor. They look very dapper. In my eye (limited as it may be) it looks like they tried to make 21 yards fit a 22 yard pattern, and the chasuble was the last bit they made.

    Perhaps I might kindly suggest if you get another set with that beautiful fabric that you request a slightly longer back piece, perhaps another 8-12″ long. I think you would like the result.

    Also perhaps I could also suggest if you do, you could forward me some of that pre-prandial snack from Rome next time you’re in that vicinity? … talk about noble simplicity!

  7. Mariana2 says:

    I hadn’t realised how much fun there is to be had in ecclesiastical shops. I should have loved one of the B XVI embroideries.

    Lovely pics. Many thanks!

  8. SanSan says:

    Great post Father. Love the Roma! Sad news today, my granddaughter (20), who I asked your prayers for, lasted 24hrs in Rome and decided to fly to Ireland for the rest of the week to be with family. I don’t know what happen, but something scared her–this girl doesn’t scare easy. This young independent world traveler said Rome was “crazy”. I haven’t heard the whole story yet, but I am so sadden that she bolted.
    Happy to hear that you are enjoying your time there.

  9. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Ah, Roma! What is that scrumptious cheese in the pre-prandial snack?

  10. Sol says:

    Dear Father, thank you so much for these photos and news from the road – very uplifting! As I am sitting here in the dullness of a dreary Canadian Fall/Winter, it’s good to be transported – if only for a moment – to the beaty of Rome, a city I have always wanted to visit, but somehow never managed to, even though I can’t say I had not had the time or resources to do so. Somehow, it just never happened. And now, when our good Lord has called me to the far ends of the earth. it seems ever more unlikely.

    So – thank you, again, for this taste of Italy! Much appreciated. Enjoy your stay and have safe travels back!

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Have a blessed stay in Rome Fr. Z. Thanks for these posts and photos.

  12. clare joseph says:

    There is nothing like Italy, especially Catholic Italy manifesting itself throughout a very earthy, human, eternal City. It makes one think of heaven.
    That last food photo, Fr. Z., is one of your best ever.

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