What I’ve Been Up to the Past Two Weeks

Wow, these past two weeks have been packed and I have had no time to write. There will be many less pictures directly in this post, so be sure to check out the linked albums. Besides having four hours of further Italian classes each day, I’ve had the chance to visit and experience a lot of cool things. There are four that I want to share: Mass and Visit to St. Peter’s, Angelus with the Pope, Trip to Assisi and finally a Scavi Tour.

St. Peter’s

On Friday 18th, we celebrated mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s among the tombs of the Popes. This is also quite close to the tomb of Saint Peter. It was moving to participate in holy mass, so close to Peter and so many of his successors. After mass we received a toured of the basilica. You can see all the pictures here. The church is truly stunning in size and beauty. We where at St. Peter’s early in the morning, so the light coming into the church made it exceptional nice and less crowded.

St. Peter's Entrance
The view of St. Peter’s just inside the basilica down the nave.
St Peter's Morning Light
The light shinning through the windows above the entrance from next to the altar.
St. Peter's Through the Baldacchino
The Chapel of the Chair of St. Peter through the Baldacchino, with the main altar centered.


The Sunday after we celebrated mass at St. Peter’s, we as a seminary community walked to St. Peter’s Square to pray the angelus with the Pope. After the angelus, he normally address the crowds with a reflection and then greets some of the groups present. My new class at NAC was one of the groups to be greeted by the Pope. You can watch it in here:


This past weekend I was in Assisi for fraternity weekend. You can view all my photos from the weekend in the album here. Basically it was a weekend for us to get to know each other as a class and meet with potential spiritual directors. We had the pleasure to celebrate mass in the basilica of St. Clara, St. Francis, and Maria of the Angels.

It was interesting seeing Assisi after being in Siena. It was also amazing how peaceful Assisi was. One of the guys commented how he wasn’t surprised Francis and Clara are saints because of the beauty and tranquility of the city and landscape. It is a place that invites prayer.

As I’m wont to do, I wondered around the city church hoping. There were, as one would expect, many churches to visit. The basilica of St. Clara became my go to spot to pray for the weekend. I was surprised to find in my wanderings the castle Rocca Maggiore overlooking the city. I ended up visiting the castle several times over the weekend. What can I say, I have a soft spot for forts. It also happened that during our time at Assisi, there was a market in the main piazza selling various trinkets. The added twist was the all the vendors were dressed in medieval garb.

San Francesco
The sanctuary of San Francesco.
Santa Maria Degli Angeli
Maria of the Angels. The church in the background is the: Portiuncula. This tiny church is where the Franciscans where born.
Assisi: Medieval Garb
An example of people in medieval garb in the main piazza. The stalls though are no longer present though.
Rocca Maggiore
The ancient castle Rocca Maggiore, which overlooks the city of Assisi.


On Monday I had the opportunity to go on a Scavi tour. The Scavi tours are a tour of the roman necropolis underneath St. Peter’s, where St. Peter was and is still buried. The story of the excavation of the necropolis and eventual discovery of St. Peter’s bones is incredible fascinating and dramatic. I highly recommend looking into it. At the end of the tour we had the opportunity to venerate the bones of St. Peter in this little side room that has a view of the place where he is buried. If you look carefully you can see the jaw bone of Peter. The jaw bone calls to mind Peter’s profession of Jesus as the Christ and the challenge for all of us, but especially those of us aspiring to the priesthood, to boldly proclaim that same profession that Jesus is the Christ.

One Reply to “What I’ve Been Up to the Past Two Weeks”

  1. Dear Tim,
    You are really seeing so much. You are very lucky to be studying in Rome as you can get to see things that the tourist cannot. I have not been able to get to see the tombs of Peter and the other popes. But I am in awe of the Holy Spirit picture behind the main altar as it looks like it is stained glass when it is actually marble! But I am very lucky that I saw the Pieta before it was damaged and then repaired and put behind glass. I also feel so at peace in Assisi. It is one of my favorite cities. You were fortunate to experience the market with the medieval dress. Did you notice the state of St. Francis with the doves? There was only one there the 2 times I was there.

    God bless you! You are becoming well prepared for you vocation!!

    Lynne (from St. Helena, Edison)

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