Monday, October 1, 2018

Arriving in Rome

I had a great flight to Rome from Montreal last night. Of course, for me a "great flight" means I slept most of the way. I did have a chance to catch a nice movie over supper, the recent documentary on Fred Rogers entitled Won't You Be My Neighbor? I definitely recommend it if you haven't see it yet. As an added bonus, I ran into an Air Canada agent who had been very helpful when my mom and I were travelling to France recently (we had requested special assistance for mom). Thank you to Caroline, who I'm sure was quite surprised to get my sudden selfie request!

The arrival in Rome was the usual: getting off the plane, going through customs, getting the luggage, hopping in a taxi. I'm staying at the Domus Romana Sacerdotalis, which is well situated close to the Vatican. My room is very comfortable and quiet, although I have no view at all -- literally. I'm facing a wall I can literally reach out my window and touch. Curiously, though, I suspect this is part of why my room is so quiet -- no sounds from the street, and no sounds from the inner courtyard. One thing about Rome, it's always noisy, so this is really quite welcome.

The day was fairly smooth -- one of those "calm before the storm" days. I had a chance to meet another synod member, Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana of Thailand (we sat at the same lunch table). I also made a brief connection with Bishop Martin Igwe Uzoukwu of the diocese of Minna in Nigeria (he is only in Rome for a brief time). I guess we hit it off, because he's already invited me to go and visit his diocese!

The Quebec bishops already in Rome (with the exception of Cardinal Lacroix) had a chance to go for a relaxing supper this evening. Here is Archbishop L├ępine with his meal (the chef was so proud):

We've received our synod packages with the calendar and schedule of events, as well as the seating plan for the synod hall. Tomorrow I go to drop off my speech with the synodal organizing team. And then, the work begins!

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