Experience Rome Through the Lives of Its People
by Sharon Holland, IHM - LCWR President-Elect
Much has been written about the LCWR Rome trip of 2014. Around the edges of intense meetings, however, we shared bits of the everyday lives of people around us. The Domus Carmelitana, our home away from home, reminded us that religious institutes in many places have been faced with numeric decline and the repurposing of buildings. Half of a large structure of the Carmelite Fathers is now a place of hospitality for tourists and pilgrims in Rome.
Our arrival was on the eve of the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, hailed in P. Francis’ homily, respectively, as pope of openness to the Holy Spirit and pope of the family. Some called it the day of four Popes, with P. Francis presiding, and Benedict XVI among the Cardinals concelebrating. On Saturday afternoon, St. Peter’s Square was filled with people praying, singing, or simply waiting in line to enter the basilica; the Square was filled, but voices were quiet and expectant. Many spent the night in the streets in order to get better places when allowed to enter the piazza before dawn. (download file to continue reading)