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ORVIETO: City of the Miracle

The town of Orvieto is an Etruscan city located in the scenic region of Umbria, between Firenze (Florence) and Roma (Rome). Orvieto made the news this week because attendees at the 60th Anniversary Celebration of Caritas Internationalis were treated on May 21 to a ride aboard a historic train, dubbed the “Caritas Express,” from Rome […]

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The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. –Psalm 19:1 Lonely planet: It’s not a plaintive 1950s love song. “Lonely planet” is the name given by scientists to a newly discovered type of planet which floats freely in the dark, without a star to […]

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THE POPE AND THE POOR: You Finish the Picture

Over at his website, “Father Z” posted this picture of a new, 16-foot-high bronze statue of Blessed John Paul II.  The statue was unveiled on March 19 at Stazione Termini, Rome’s main train station.  I don’t know the artist’s intent in creating the cavernous belly, but I imagine future generations of pilgrims posing for pictures, […]

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ROME, WITH A SMILE. It's Different There.

First, a little laugh at my expense. I used to do conference and event planning.  Our guests were accustomed to finer things, and so we set out to give them “the best”—whatever that was.  Perhaps it meant that we had a special treat delivered to their rooms each day, when they were at the conference […]

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GOD’S FRIENDS, MY FRIENDS: The Precedent for Intercessory Prayer

At his weekly audience on May 18, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the efficacy of intercessory prayer.  He used the biblical patriarch Abraham as an example—reminding us of how Abraham prayed to God for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  “Not so!” cry about a half dozen people I know.  They buttress their argument by […]