The day started out spectacularly with Mass in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis. Our groups was the first in line among tens of thousands or more. So when the gates were opened we rushed in and got the very front seats and great seats they were.
Before the Mass the Pope surprised everyone by driving through the crowds in his uncovered Popemobile so everyone got to see him up close again. Everyone got great pictures and videos, some of which you will see in the videos here. The Mass was to celebrate The Day of Life.
After the Mass many of us went to La Pilotta da Mario for lunch and then scattered with our guides for a walking tour of Rome visiting the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza Navona.
Then we drove out to the Via Appia Antica through the ancient road with catacombs below us. We arrived at Cecilia Metalla for a fantastic dinner outside under the trellises covered with grapevines. During dinner I was the MC and the guides, escorts, John Hale of Corporate Travel, Teresa Tomeo and others gave lasts words and comments.
Then we had our guest speaker Dr. Frank Beckwith share his story of reversion back to the Catholic Church. During his presidency of the Evangelical Theological Society he decided to return to the Catholic Church. It is a great story and he does a great job telling it.
Then we had to say Good-bye as everyone boarded the buses the next morning and headed to the airport to return home. Janet and I were overwhelmed with the kind words, hugs, grateful praises for the trip and promises to join us again on other pilgrimages. It was a very warm but sad morning as we said “Good-bye.”
Talks and Farewells Part I
Talks and Farewells, Part II