Place #7: Rome, the Vatican and Assisi and Vicinity, Italy
St Peter Square, The Vatican
On December 10 to 16, 1990, Macrine and I joined the Dioscese of Oakland Choir during their pilgrimage tour to Rome, the Vatican and surrounding area( Assisi), Italy. We were not members of the Choir, but our parish priest, Fr. Paddy Bishop of St Joseph Church of Pinole was the Chaperon of the Choir and he invited us to join the group. Lidia Carlos Reynes was the choir director. The choir gave one concert( liturgical music) and sang during a mass with the Pope (John Paul II) as celebrant in St Peter's Basilica. For 5 days we enjoyed the sights and sounds of Rome, the Vatican and Assisi, Italy.
One day we went to St Francis de Assisi Church in Assisi, Italy about one hour bus drive from Rome. Assisi is one of the most beautiful town in Italy. Around Rome, we saw the Coliseum, several the historic basilicas and fountains, the Catacombs and a whole day tour the Vatican( Sistine Chapel etc..)City and the Museum.
This is one vacation/tour that Macrine and I will never forget. The package tour was arranged by Courtial International, Vatican Travel Office and Choir Pilgrimage Services in Rome, Italy.
St Peter Square, the Vatican
The following paragraph in the concert program summarized the reason for this concert tour. ( there was a translation in Latin, German and French)
"Concerts of Liturgical Music in a Holy Place are not only authentic manifestations of Art and Faith, but they also represent a wonderful opportunity for the spirit to join the Source of every beauty".
I like the Spanish version better as follows:
"Los Conciertos de Musica Sagrada en Lugar Sagrado, ademas de ser autenticas manifestaciones de Arte y de Fe, constituyen una ocasion inmejorable para elevar al espiritu hacia la Fuente de la misma belleza."
Note: This is No.7 ( Rome and Assisi, Italy). of the series of articles on places that Macrine and I had visited outside the US since 1960.