Monday mornings in Rome, like anyplace else I suppose, are always times of hustling. From midafternoon on Saturday until last night, Rome was quiet (well, as quiet as it can be). Yesterday I concelebrated the Sunday 10:30 "capituar Mass" (let's call it the 'high Mass' because they pull out all the stops when it comes to music, incense, etc.) at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica. The Mass is said in Latin, but the readings were done in Spanish, German, and Italian. The general intercessions were similarly done in 5 different languages. I could certainly celebrate a private Mass on Sunday, but that mass is one of my favorite things to do in Rome, since it epitomizes the "one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church" we profess each week. Following the Mass everyone ent outside to listen to the Holy Father's noon Angelus message. First, we received Christ in Holy Communion, then we went outside to hear Christ's Vicar speak to us.
Then a walk to lunch at the Casa Santa Maria, the residence for American priests studying for graduate degrees from the various Roman universities. I'm here in Rome without any travel companions, and I don't mind trying to balance a few languages over meals where I'm staying, but it was nice to be able to eat a meal with other people who spoke English.
Following lunch, I hopped a bus with a mission: I was going to find the hotel that my father and stepmother stayed at on their honeymoon in Rome back in the 70s. The bus took me to the street, and I found a hotel amidst the apartment buildings, but with the wrong name. My guess is that it was the place where they stayed, but the hotel had changed hands. Still, it was nice to walk in a quiet neighborhood for a while.
Deciding to be 'adventurous', rather than do the safe thing and take the same bus back to the city center, I found a local commuter train. Deciding to forget my past experience with commuter trains, I got on this one and finally did something right, thereby removing the disgrace brought by myself upon my family name through my being "transportationally challenged" a few days ago. it left me off at the Piazza del Populo, and from there I walked back, doing as the Romans do in great numbers on a Sunday.
Now it's Monday, and my last few days in Rome begin. The sky is a bright blue, but when I go out I'll bring my umbrella (that will prevent any rain, since it only pours when i forget to bring my umbrella). Ciao!