Heather in Rome

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. - St. Augustine

Friday, December 9

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Ciao! Yesterday was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception ( a holy day of obligation so all you Catholics should have gone to Mass) and the school hosted a mission at Piazza de Spagna, aka the Spanish Steps. It's a big tourist site, although I don't know why. It's not very impressive, just a bunch of wide steps that lead up to a French church, la Chiesa Trinita dei Monti. Anyway, every year the Pope goes there to lead the people in prayer at the first statue in Rome to the Immaculate Conception (which is the dogma of Mary preserved from the stain of original sin from the moment of her conception). Lots of people show up and wait for an hour or more and once they see the Pope, most leave.

We were there to talk to people while they waited, pass out flyers for the night's events, etc. We were supposed to perform skits, but that never came about. I had a really good view of the Pope when he came down the street and captured it with my video camera. maybe I'll get creative and make a little video with my software to send out in an email.

After the Pope was finished praying, we went into the church and had one and a half hours to pray and bring our intentions to Mary. My mission team played music during this time and led everyone in prayer. Afterwards there was Mass and after that there was Adoration and the opportunity to go to confession or receive a blessing. Sometimes I was playing music for that, other times I was in front of the church telling tourists about what was happening in the church, then a group of us went on the steps and performed a dance routine while singing "Come magnify the Lord with me" in English, Italian, and French. I have the chorus down in all three languages so I'm very proud of myself.

Speaking of languages, there is a part time mission school from Milan with us for the weekend and some of the students don't speak much English so I've been practicing. I can't say much, but they say I speak Italian very well considering I haven't taken any classes in it. Rock on! My ear is getting better too and I pick up phrases in Italian and French even. In no way will I come back fluent though, at least I don't think so.

It was a good mission with many people coming to the church to pray (the rain helped drive them in). Tomorrow we got to Piazza Navona and just talk to people about the faith I guess. That's always harder (at least for me) because you don't have anything to advertise, like the event yesterday.


  • At 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Miss Heather. It's always great to read about your further adventures in faith. Happy Feast Day. I am drawn to Our Lady of Guadalupe, for whatever reason we are drawn to a certain image of the Blessed Mother. She just speaks to me. I am interested to hear about Christmas in Rome. I hope you are continuing to enjoy community life and experiencing few frustrations, although some are inevitable. Miss you here!

    Mary (and Andrew, too)

  • At 3:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Heather,
    Your blog is so interesting and has such a great spiritual theme. We have really enjoyed reading it. I'm sure when you come home, you will have so much to tell all of us. We miss you, but we are so happy to see you are adjusting, having a great time, even on holidays. Take care and we love you. Uncle Bob and Aunt Sally


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