Life in the Face of Death

Fifth Sunday of Lent (Scrutiny 3) Last weekend, the 115 cardinal electors in Rome were preparing to enter the conclave to elect the 266th bishop of Rome. Today we give thanks to God… Continue reading

Or Not

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Scrutiny 2) The Vatican announced Friday that the conclave to elect the 266th bishop of Rome will begin Tuesday afternoon after a morning mass concelebrated by the 115 cardinal… Continue reading


Third Sunday of Lent (Scrutiny 1) With Benedict XVI stepping down from the chair of St. Peter, the Roman Catholic church has entered a period of intense self-examination and soul-searching. Some voices in… Continue reading

Weekend in Assisi

My last weekend in Italy before returning home (15-17 February), a group of us went to Assisi. I had been to Assisi last summer, but only for a few hours with a tour… Continue reading

Scavi (Excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica)

Two weeks ago Wednesday, Msgr. Ray Dreiling (Fresno CA) and I went on a tour of the Scavi, the Excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica. I read up on the subject after the tour,… Continue reading

Ash Wednesday

We embraced the Lenten season in earnest with mass at 6:45 AM at Santa Sabina on the Aveline Hill. “The Basilica of Saint Sabina is the mother church of the Dominicans perched high above the Tiber to… Continue reading

Cinque Terre: Manarola

Manarola, built on a high rock 70 metres above sea level, is one of the most charming and romantic of the Cinque Terre villages. The tiny harbor features a boat ramp, picturesque multicoloured houses facing… Continue reading

Cinque Terre: Vernazza & Monterosso al Mare

The towns of Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare were the site of terrible floods in the fall of 2011. What we saw were fully recovered towns, with evidence of the flood, water lines… Continue reading

Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore

The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region, to the west of the city of La Spezia. “The Five Lands” is composed of five villages:… Continue reading

La Spezia by Train

Saturday, we took a taxi to the stazione in Firenze to catch a 6:30 AM train to La Spezia. It was cold. And nothing was open. There was a McDonald’s but it took… Continue reading

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