I Have Arrived In Rome

Good Evening from the Eternal City…I have safely arrived after my long journey from Boston. Thankfully, the flight went very smooth. The staff at Lufthansa in Boston, and aboard the plane, are always so kind to me. We took off at 10:16pm and landed in Frankfurt, Germany at 4:50am Boston time. The flight was approximately 3,650 miles. Now that I am using this blog to share my experiences with you, I thought I would share with you some of my not so thrilling activities on the flight.

I prefer to take the late flight on Lufthansa leaving Boston at 9:50pm because it allows me to sleep without losing a full nights sleep. After the typical airline cuisine, I read from two of the books I brought with me, BASILICA BUILDING ST. PETERS by R.A. Scott and SUITE FRANCAIS by Irene Nemirovsky, which is written in French. The story is very sad and dire as it is about the invasion of Paris during World War II. The story traces the people and families who were fleeing the City of Lights and the challenges they faced each day.

While exiting the flight from Boston in Frankfurt the head flight attendant shook my hand and said to me, Please give our very best to our German Pope. She smiled and reminded once again how proud the Germans are of their native Son, Pope Benedict XVI.

While walking through the never ending terminal in Frankfurt.I thought we were going to walk to Rome after what seemed like a three mile journey from our arrival gate to our new departure gate.as a young seminarian I was in Germany for a couple of months studying German.

I have many fond memories of those days in the early 1960s. I will share with you, believe it or not, that I and everyone else were wearing lederhosen in those days…but, do not try to find those pictures because I assure you that the negatives have been destroyed.LOL!

Our flight out of Germany was scheduled for 12:15pm, which was 6:15am Boston time, but a passenger who checked baggage did not board the plane. So, the airline had to remove their bags from the planes cargo area before we could depart. Our departure for Rome was not until 12:50pm and we arrived in Rome at 2:15pm. I have only had a short time to unpack, freshen up and say mass because I am about to leave to make the three hour drive to San Giovanni Rotondo, where I will celebrate the feast day Mass for St. Padre Pio.

I will share more about my personal thoughts of Padre Pio and will also make sure there are pictures from the Shrine to share with you in upcoming posts.

I am so looking forward to celebrating this mass. It is a tremendous honor. This particular mass is usually reserved for the Bishop of that regionit would be his prerogative to celebrate. I am deeply moved to have been invited to be the guest celebrant and homilist tomorrow where thousands will be in attendance. I should also let you know that this will be my first time visiting the Shrine. I never had the opportunity and honor to meet Padre Pio in person because like all Capuchin friars we were asked not to visit because so many would have overwhelmed the Friary.

I will share the homily that I have written for this special Mass with you tomorrow.Its theme is Prayer, Charity and the Joy of Forgiveness.

Please be assured as I leave you are all in my thoughts and prayers in Boston. In a special way you will all be remembered at the Mass.

Im off to San Giovanni Rotondo.

God Bless,

Cardinal Sen

17 thoughts on “I Have Arrived In Rome”

  1. Dear Cardinal O’Malley:

    As a native of Dublin (having lived in the States for 40 years) I feel a great sense of pride when hearing about Sean Patrick O’Malley who is a Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church. Your blog is an absolutely fantastic way to reach out to the Boston community, and indeed to the entire world. You are forever in my prayers.




  3. Dear Cdl. O’Malley,
    Thank you so much letting us into your mind and heart as you travel. I am still devoted to Padre Pio, but after my wife read his biography she began having nightmares. I think she related too much with his sufferings and all the evil in the world. Keep the journey coming. This is the first time I have ever written on a blog. God Bless you.
    Deacon Jim Uline

  4. As editor of the website http://www.stpetersbasilica.org I am always interested in the experience of people going to the Vatican basilica, but rarely do we hear the impressions of a Cardinal. It is fascinating to hear about the baptism, the special access to the basilica and to see the many wonderful photos. We can only hope to hear more.
    Alan Howard

  5. Cardinal Sean,

    My heartfelt thanks to you and your staff for sharing your trip to Rome in this Blog. Your use of the Blog concept, in my opinion, is one of the best Evangelical tools available today.
    Thanks again for your generosity in sharing such beautiful photos of Rome and the Vatican. One can only imagine how
    thrilling it must have been for you to experience the habitat
    and close Spirituality of Padre Pio’s footsteps.
    May God Bless you in all you do.
    Elizabeth Gowell Lupi

  6. Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
    I have read your blog and find it interestring and informative. You give a personal dimension to the daily life of the Church. I had the privilede to serve in the Archiocese of Boston at the Atonement Friars Chapel in Westgate Mall in Brockton from 1971-1973. I keep in contact wih several friends that I have known over the years and always have a special place in my heart for the Archdiocese of Bostoin. I visit the Archdiocesan Website frequently and now will visit your blog. May God continue to bless and protect you as you serve the Archdiocese of Boston as its Shepherd. Sincerely, Fr. Mike Graham

  7. From zero to full speed in under a week with blogging. It sure seems to fit your forward looking profile–Congratulations on this terrific initiative.

  8. I read in the Boston Globe this morning about your blog and had to see for myself what a blog was all about. I am 68 years old and have never read a blog before. I loved reading it and enjoyed the pictures very much. I will be answering phones this Friday night for BCTV. I have done this every year since the beginning of the telethon. I am in St Theresa Parish, West Roxbury and have a very nice picture framed that was taken of my husband and me with you after the Mass. Have a wonderful rest of your trip and be safe. Christine

  9. Cardinal Sean,

    This is an amazing site! Your messages are wonderful! Thank you for sharing this trip with us!! We are so lucky to have you as our Cardinal in Boston! The pictures are amazing. I can’t imagine the feeling of being in Padre Pio’s quarters and chapel. Someday I hope to be able to go to Italy. There are so many wonderful things to see! I pray you have a safe and wonderful trip and I look forward to being able to see the Mass to be televised by BCTV!! God bless you! Ciao!

  10. Your Eminence,

    I found it very interesting to read your comments regarding Padre Pio and the fascinating connection the Irish have to him. I am American of Irish Descent. I went to Italy twice a few years ago and was instantly attracted to gathering information about this Saint. He was very much apart of my own personal pilgrimmage to healing. I have his prayer in various forms in my house and find I do have this “connection” to his life and teachings. I traveled deep into Italy to a church he would hold his healings in. It was very enlightening.

    It was nice reading your post.
    Take Care,

  11. Our Beloved Eminence: Your advice on participating in prayer each day in a small, sincere manner and asking for grace to grudually increase one’s daily attention to prayer is of import to me. I find praying and avoiding wandering thoughts away from the prayer and the purpose intended to be a struggle at times. Maybe your approach, brief but concentrated more often during the day will be the answer. I thank God for giving you to us. GOD bLESS yOU.

  12. Dear Padre Sean,
    Congratulations not only on this latest accomplishment, but also on your consistently fine work! I am as delighted as you with this recent way of communicating GOD’S message and most of all FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES with all of us. We’ve all benefited from your creativity and your insight into so many wonderful places in the Eternal City. My thoughts and prayers are with you every step of the way. Que Dios lo bendiga siempre Padre Sean, y por favor encomiendenos siempre a todos en la familia y en la comunidad.

  13. Thank you for taking advantage of technology to reach us. I read your blog on my blackberry on the train ride to New York after reading about it in the Globe. I think the church should continue to comminicate using all methods that people use in these hectic times. Without the blog I wouldn’t have given my religion a thought this morning. Thank you.

  14. Ahhh…the airport at Frankfurt. My family and I just recently left the US so that I might study at the International Theological Institute at Gaming, Austria. We flew from Boise, Idaho to Chicago to Frankfurt. The terminal to fly to Vienna seemed to be several miles from our arrival. It seemed like an endless journey as we drug four very tired children to the gate.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog, Cardinal O’Malley. We are enjoying it very much.

  15. Your Eminence,

    I just wanted you to know that as a young person today it is good to see high profile people such as yourself going out of your way to get your message out to the people. It seems only natural to have the teachings of the church spread in the most efficient and democratic means possible, I can imagine all the apostles would have had a blog if they were around today. I hope your colleagues will follow in your footsteps.

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September 2006