Rome rammo!

Driving from the airport today we passed the queue for the Vatican Museums. It goes right round the Aurelian Wall as far back as the Porta Sant' Anna. The queue for the security before going into St Peter's went right to the end of the colonnade and stayed that long all afternoon. All the restaurants in the Borgo Pio were full at lunchtime. Fr Charles and I sate next to some visitors from Williamsburg in Virginia. They were not Catholics but had very kind things to say about the Catholic schools and the Sisters of Mercy. Apparently the Queen is going to visit Williamsburg in May because it is the 4th centenary of its foundation and it was the first English settlement in America.

So why is Rome so full? Any special event, holiday, gathering? No, just an ordinary weekday in the Eternal City. It was never this full when I was a student here: Pope John Paul made an enormous impact and the number of visitors has increased since the election of Pope Benedict. It is wonderful to see. "The Church is alive, the Church is young!"

So what have we planned? Lunch tomorrow with Fr Paul Haffner who has been teaching here for many years. Mass and dinner at the English College on Wednesday. One or two other friends to catch up with, Gammarellis to visit, photos to take, bloggers meeting to arrange...

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