Yes, the Church is alive... And the Church is young.  She holds within herself the future of the world.
Pope Benedict XVI, 24 April 2005

Photos from the Pilgrims


Alison's photo (Thanks!)

Father Ryan's photo (Thanks!)

Photos of the Mass at St. Peter's

These photos are taken from the live webcast of the Holy Father's Mass for the Workers.  The Cathedral Choir served as "the people's choir," sustaining the assembly's singing.  See if you can recognize some of our choristers in the seats immediately behind the altar.  The musicians and organist of the Sistine Choir can be seen below.  See high quality photos at Catholic Press

Noon Angelus in St. Peter's Square (Thanks, Father Ryan!)

Concert at Sant'Ignazio, Sunday night


Prayers for Today

MORNING:  The Basilica of San Pietro

Pope Paul VI once wrote, “No one is a stranger to the heart of the Church. No one is beyond the concern of its ministry. No one is its enemy who does not wish to be. Not in vain is it called catholic, not in vain is it charged with the advancement in the world of unity, of love, of peace.” These words are writ large (figuratively speaking) here at Saint Peter’s Basilica. Bernini’s magnificent colonnade was designed to suggest the arms of the church, reaching out to the world in a great embrace. The colonnade is crowned with the figures of 140 saints, men and women of every time and place, who beckon to us as if to remind us that anything is possible. To this place come the devout and the doubter, the tourist and the art-lover, the princes of the Church and her humblest members. And this great church opens its arms to them all, inviting them to come in and pause a moment near the tomb of St. Peter--the fisherman, the doubter, the apostle, the rock.


On Pilgrimage to Rome

What, then, is this city of Rome, so profane and at the same time so mysteriously sacred? Rome is perhaps the most astonishing result of the union between our Christian faith and the physical reality of history. In Rome, almost every corner bears witness to both man’s wretchedness and his capacity to be inspired by what is eternal…. Sisters and brothers, you who believe in Christ, when you arrive in this city, you will be able almost to touch with your hand the wonderful miracle of your being a Christian, of your belonging to the Church. (Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 1999)

Intentions for the morning

PILGRIMS TO ROME AND PILGRIMS AT HOME: Today, let us pray for our Church. Let us not be afraid to ask for a new Pentecost. Let us pray that the Spirit will come into the Church and into every member of it, that we may find ever new ways of reaching out to the world. As Archbishop Hunthausen said recently, “What we need as Church, as people, is a whole army of people who are praying to the Spirit to guide and direct.”


EVENING: Sant’ Ignazio

We must use our five senses creatively in sympathetic response to the sacred
St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Church of the Jesuits

The Church of Sant’Ignazio presents the Jesuit imagination in tangible form. The architect, Orazio Grassi, was a Jesuit priest and professor of mathematics; the principal artist, Andrea Pozzo, a Jesuit brother. Their work displays the profound faith as well as intellectual brilliance and ingenuity which are typical of the Jesuit order. The best example of this is probably the trompe-l’oeil dome. Grassi designed a massive dome for this building, but the Dominicans at the neighboring church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva complained that it would block the light coming into their library. Nothing daunted, the ingenious Pozzo solved the problem by painting an illusionistic ‘dome’ above the crossing. It’s a fitting emblem of the Jesuits, who throughout their history have always found creative ways to preach the Gospel, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Praying with St. Ignatius

Take, Lord, and receive
all my liberty, my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will, all that I have and possess.
You have given it all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours.
Dispose of it wholly according to your will.
Give me your love and your grace;
this is enough for me.

Intentions for the evening

PILGRIMS TO ROME: Today let us pray that we may respond with a creative faith to all the challenging circumstances of our lives.

PILGRIMS AT HOME: Today let us pray for the priests and brothers of the Jesuit order, especially those who serve at Seattle University and who enrich the spiritual and intellectual life of our own parish community in so many ways.



Watch the Mass for Sunday 19 March at the Vatican website
Click here to read excerpts from the Holy Father's homily for Sunday, March 19
Click here to read excerpts from the Holy Father's remarks at the Noon Angelus in St. Peter's Square

Visit the Vatican's LIVE webcam of St. Peter's Square
Link to a satellite image of St. Peter's Basilica

Link to the Vatican Museums
Explore St. Peter's online at (not the official site)
This website has links to multiple webcams throughout Rome

Visit Sant'Ignazio's official website
The Cathedral Choir concert is listed on this website devoted to Sacred Music events in Rome
Click here to view the program for the Concert at Sant'Ignazio

Excerpts from the Holy Father's homily for Sunday, March 19

VATICAN CITY, MAR 19, 2006 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 9.30 a.m. today, Benedict XVI presided at a Mass for workers in remembrance of St. Joseph, whose feast day, March 19, will be celebrated tomorrow, Monday March 20, because this year it coincides with the third Sunday of Lent.

Concelebrating with the Pope were Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome; Bishop Giuseppe Betori, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference; and Bishop Arrigo Miglio, president of the Italian episcopal commission for social and labor problems, for justice and peace. At the beginning of the ceremony, Bishop Miglio congratulated the Holy Father for his name day.

In his homily, the Holy Father recalled how, according to the Bible, "work is part of the original condition of man," and forms part of "the divine plan." He went on: "The Son of God Himself, becoming like us in all respects, dedicated many years to manual labor, so much so that he became known as the 'carpenter's son'.

"The Church has always shown, and especially over the last century, particular attention and solicitude to this aspect of society, as evinced by the many social initiatives of the Magisterium and the activity of many Christian-inspired associations, some of which are here today to represent the entire world of work."

The Pope then highlighted the fact that "work is of primary importance for the fulfillment of mankind and the development of society, and for this reason it must always be organized and carried out in full respect of human dignity and at the service of the common good. At the same time it is indispensable that men and women do not let themselves be enslaved by work, that they do not idolize it, expecting to find therein the final and definitive meaning of life." In this context he affirmed that "biblical teaching on work finds its coronation in the commandment to rest."

"Work must serve the true good of humanity," said the Holy Father. "To this end, technical and professional qualifications, necessary though they may be, are not enough. Nor is it enough to create a just social order attentive to the good of all. It is necessary to live a form of spirituality that helps believers to sanctify themselves through their own work, imitating St. Joseph who every day had to provide for the needs of the Holy Family with his own hands, and who for this reason is identified by the Church as the patron saint of workers. His witness shows how mankind is both the subject and protagonist of work."

Benedict XVI concluded by entrusting to St. Joseph "those young people who find it difficult to enter the world of work, the unemployed, and all those who suffer due to the widespread labor crisis.

"Together with his wife Mary, may St. Joseph watch over all workers and ensure serenity and peace for families and for all humanity. Looking to this great saint, may Christians in all working environments learn to bear witness to the love of Christ, source of true solidarity and of lasting peace."

Excerpts from his remarks at the Sunday Angelus

VATICAN CITY, MAR 19, 2006 (VIS) - During remarks prior to praying the Angelus at midday today with thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI dedicated his attention to the figure of St. Joseph, whose feast day is celebrated tomorrow.

The Pope began by recalling John Paul II's devotion to St. Joseph "to whom he dedicated his Apostolic Exhortation 'Redemptoris Custos', Guardian of the Redeemer, and whose assistance he surely felt at the hour of his death." Benedict XVI then went on to explain the importance of the figure of Jesus' putative father in the history of salvation, beginning with his belonging to the tribe of Juda. This "united Jesus to the line of David" and ensured that the messianic promises were fulfilled in Him, as Matthew recounts in his Gospel when he describes the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight to Egypt and the name of "Nazarene."

"Like his wife Mary," the Holy Father continued, St. Joseph "showed himself to be the true heir of the faith of Abraham: faith in God Who guides the events of history according to His mysterious salvific plan." St. Joseph's greatness "is even more evident because his mission took place in the humility and obscurity of his house in Nazareth. Indeed, God Himself, in the Person of His Son incarnate, chose this way of life and this path in His earthly existence."

St. Joseph's example presents us all with "a powerful invitation to perform the role that Providence has assigned us with faithfulness, simplicity and modesty. I am thinking above all of fathers and mothers in families, and I pray that they may always know how to appreciate the beauty of a simple and hard-working life, carefully cultivating their conjugal relationship and enthusiastically accomplishing the great, and by no means easy, mission of education."

The Pope concluded his remarks by entrusting to St. Joseph "priests who exercise their paternity over ecclesial communities, ... consecrated people in their joyful and faithful observance of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience," and "workers of the entire world, that they may contribute with their various professions to the progress of humanity entire."

After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled that this year marks the fifth centenary of the Vatican Museums, which John Paul II defined as "one of the most important doors of the Holy See, open to the world." The museums offer, he said, "an important contribution to the mission of the Church, communicating Christian truths to millions of people through the language of art."