Sunday, June 17, 2012

On the Threshold of the Eternal City

For a week, we pretended it was summer in Paris, even though the temperatures barely crossed 60 degrees most days. But today, we boarded a RyanAir flight (and by the way, the flight was great, and yes, cheap, but the plane was clean, the airline ran like clockwork, and all the staff were courteous!) and landed, just before lunch, at Rome's Ciampino Airport.

Temperature when we landed: 84 degrees!

The land, the colors, the climate, the gelato – everything has changed from yesterday.

We are staying, at the recommendation of our presbyters friends from the Diocese of Ferns in Ireland, at Villa Irlanda, and this will be our base of operations for the next week. We are wonderfully situated about four blocks in either direction from the Coliseum to the west, and the Basilica of St. John Lateran to the east.

This visit is timely, because I'll be running into a number of priests who have either been collaborators with or who have heard of Teach Bhríde, the House of Brigid. And, of course, Dublin is just wrapping up its International Eucharistic Congress, and there will be a few that will be coming over here after all the hoopla of that event.

So Villa Irlanda serves a double purpose; it's perfectly situated, and it's also close to colleagues.

We often associate cities with their monikers, and many of them are self explanatory: windy (Chicago), mile-high (Denver), by the bay (San Francisco). But European ones seem to be a bit more elegant, and less descriptive. Paris calls herself the City of Lights (and for more than just the light show from the Eiffel Tower). Rome's is perhaps the grandest, being called the Eternal City. And I presume that the reason for this is because her identity is wrapped up with the things that last far beyond this age.

So for the next week, we are stepping into the timelessness of this place.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Via dei Santissimi Quattro,Rome,Italy

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