I first visited Rome as a first year seminarian from Valladolid in 1983. I returned as a priest for a short visit in 1993, and again for the closing of the Jubilee Year in 2001. My fourth visit, last week, was particularly lovely.
The photo above was taken on the roof terrace of the North American College. I had gone over there one day to see the Sydney seminarians who I knew from my time spent working at the Seminary in Sydney. It was really lovely to see them again and to see them looking so well and enthusiastic about their formation. It was also very good to see the Vice-rector of the College again. I am very grateful to them for the invitation to lunch, and also for having seen something of the College on the Janiculum Hill. We had only just come out on the roof terrace when the heavens opened, so we couldn't take in the view for long.
I offered Mass this morning for the Cardinal in Sydney. He has been 'standing in the breach' alone again, acknowledging the Church's part in the paedophile scandal in Australia and defending her where necessary. He is such a great bishop of the Church; he has taken so many knocks in the public forum in Australia. May he receive grace upon grace from the Lord.