As you may have seen on news websites, Rome has received considerable amounts of rain with the Tiber River threatening to overflow. This, coupled with the dark days, has really made me ready for the Christmas break. "piano, piano" little by little as the Italians say. One day at a time.
Thursday I walked to the Vatican and the Borgo Pio to do some Christmas shopping, especially for my nephew who I will baptize at Christmas. I visited six bookstores and not one of them had Volume 1 of the Liturgy of the Hours in Italian. They all told me to wait until the end of January when there will be a reprinting. How odd. No, the Italian breviary isn't for my nephew, but for me.
Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Peter Dugandzic of the Rockville Center Diocese for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation on Saturday. Peter is a great priest, and especially helpful for any technical problems one might have with a Mac. (yes it happens). I think it is a bit of a boost in the arm for all of us here at the Casa when one of our number actually passes. Living proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Last night around 10 alumni of Notre Dame gathered at the Holy Cross Generalate for social and dinner. The Rome Alumni Club meets a few times a year. This was my first time to join them. I traveled there with Fr. Steve Titus '99 who is currently finishing his license in Dogmatic Theology from the Gregorianum. One attendee had just arrived in Rome after working for a year and a half in Uganda at the Holy Cross high school. We all agreed that coming through Rome on his way to the U.S. is a good way to transition back.
I actually didn't stay for dinner since I had the early morning Mass with the Missionaries of Charity formation house. They are in a time of transition. Last week the sisters professed their solemn perpetual vows and the novices professed their first vows. And so, this morning there were new faces in the chapel - new novices who had just arrived on Saturday. I feel so honored to pray with them once a month.
Today, Sunday, the Honorable Mary Ann Glendon, U.S. Ambassodor to the Vatican, will join us for Mass and pronzo. Afterwards she will speak to us for an hour or so on her duties as an ambassodor.