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March 4, Sunday

Solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica | Concert at the Basilica of St. Ignatius

On Sunday morning, the Cathedral Choir and Jubilate sang at the 10:30am Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.

The choir was escorted along the appropriately named "Sacristy Street"

The building in the backround on the right is the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis' residence

The young women of Jubilate are awestruck entering St. Peter's Basilica for the first time.

Joseph Adam, Father Ryan, and Stacey Sunde

The famous Bernini "Altar of the Chair" contains relics of a chair traditionally said to belong to St Peter himself. The chair is symbolic of the teaching role of the Holy Father.

What an honor for our choirs to sing at St. Peter's Basilica under the direction of Joseph Adam!

The Angelus with Pope Francis at Noon in St. Peter's Square. That's Pope Francis in the window with the banner on the upper right!

On Sunday evening, our choirs sang a wonderful concert at Sant'Ignazio in Rome.


Where we're going: Rome!

Rome is the center of the Roman Catholic Church and one of the world's great cities. It draws Catholics as well as lovers of art, architecture, history, literature, fashion, food, and so much more. Rome was first called Urbs aeterna, Eternal City in the first century BC. It is also called Caput Mundi (Capital of the World). According to legend, Rome was established by twin brothers Romulus and Remus in 753BC. (You will see the image of the she-wolf suckling the infant twins all over the city!) Archaeological excavations, however, suggest that the site has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years, making it one of the earliest settlements in Europe.

Where we're praying:
Basilica di Sant'Ignazio

Our concert for the city of Rome will take place here at Sant'Ignazio.

Sant'Ignazio was built in 1626 by the Jesuit Orazio Grassi, and was decorated by another Jesuit, Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709), a master of trompe l'oeil.  The ceiling depicts a soaring dome (that is actually flat!) and a stunning scene entitled The Apotheosis of St. Ignatius. Thanks to Pozzo's virtuoso use of perspective, dozens of figures appear to float heavenwards past dizzying columns and arches. Look for the symbolic figure representing the Americas.

Three great Jesuit saints are buried here at Sant'Ignazio:  Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591), Saint John Berchmans (1599-1621), and Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621). Saint Ignatius of Loyola himself is buried at the Church of the Gesù, also in Rome.

Travel tips

EATING WELL IN ROME  While we will be eating many of our meals together, on several days we will have lunch or dinner "on your own." If you are not an experienced traveler, don't worry!  You can find a restaurant that fits your budget and taste. Here's some helpful advice from Rick Steves. https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/sleeping-eating/eating-in-europe

PILGRIMAGE GRATUITIES Although optional, it is customary to tip the tour manager and bus driver at the end of the tour. Gratuities are preferred in Euro and recommended amounts are 4.00 Euro per person, per day for the tour manager and 2.00 Euro per person, per day for the driver. We recommend preparing envelopes in advance of your tour and then handing it directly to your tour manager/driver or group leader (if they prefer) at the end of your tour. You can prepare one envelope marked Tour Manager and include 32,00 Euro and one envelope marked Driver and include 16,00 Euro. We also suggest 1,50 Euro per person, per day for the days you have a local guide for touring. Local guides can be tipped at the end of each tour. Please feel free to increase or decrease your amounts according to your experiences. This is to be used as a customary guideline only. Although service charges are included at the hotel, it is customary to leave 1.00 Euro per person for the waiters after each meal and 1.00 Euro per person, per day in the room for the maid/porters.

On visiting Rome

"My letter would never be at an end if I were to try to tell a millionth part of the delights of Rome -- it has such an effect on me that my past life before I saw it appears a blank and now I begin to live -- in the churches you hear the music of heaven and the singing of the angels."

-- Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein

"At last -- for the first time -- I live!  It beats everything:  it leaves the Rome of your fancy -- your education -- nowhere.  It makes Venice-Florence-Oxford-London-seem like little cities of pasteboard...."

-- Henry James  

Rome by the numbers

  • How many hills does Rome have? Seven
    • Aventine Hill (Aventino)
    • Caelian Hill (Celio)
    • Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio)
    • Esquiline Hill (Esquilino)
    • Palatine Hill (Palatino)
    • Quirinal Hill (Quirinale)
    • Viminal Hill (Viminale)
  • How many churches are there in Rome? More than 900  
  • What is the population of Rome? 2.864 million (2014)  
  • How many different kinds of pasta are there?  About 350  
  • How high is the ceiling at St. Peter's?  448 feet


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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303