Because taking care of the Earth isn't just for hippies!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The blessing of the motorbikes and more at the Vatican

This past Sunday I went to the Vatican again, this time to visit the Cuppola. It is so beautiful! Going up there is definitely not for those who are claustrophobic though. Here are some pictures:

In the morning, a very large group of people on motocycles had come for the Sunday Angelus with the pope. It was quite interesting to see so many bikes parked on St. Peter's square - but the coolest part was when they all revved their engines as an applause for the pope - the whole piazza was vibrating from it!

After the Angelus, I went up to the cuppola. No, I didn't take this picture at an angle, it was the wall that was crooked, not the camera!

What a beautiful view....

Next, some pictures looking from the outside of the cuppola down at Rome:

Two shots of the Vatican at night (me playing with the long exposure settings on my camera - they are really fun!)

Note: I apologize in advance if some of the pictures don't match up with the commentary, I can't preview this from the computer that I'm on and there's a good possiblity that the links don't actually match up quite right. Let me know if they don't seem right. :)

Monday, October 30, 2006

You know you live in Rome when...

You have a hard time finding somewhere to eat lunch because so many restaurants are closed for lunch break.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Saints Rafael, Filippo, Rosa, and Théodore!!

Last Sunday, I had the privilege of going to the canonization Mass for four new saints:  St. Rafael Guízar Valencia, St. Filippo Smaldone, St. Rosa Venerini, and St. Théodore Guérin.  It was amazing to see how many people had come from all over the world for this Mass.  One really neat thing was that probably a quarter of those attending the Mass were deaf, because St. Filippo Smaldone founded an order who's apostolate is to work with the deaf here in Italy.  For example, when we were waiting in line to get through security, the line was very quiet, because everyone was signing to each other instead of talking.  It was quite a sight.  Here are some pictures:

Waiting in line to get in.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

You know you live in Rome when...

You see a really large car parked on the side of the road, then realize it's a Mini Cooper. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More pictures

I've posted more pictures online.  They are mostly of a few churches I visited recently, the S. Prassede and S. Giovanni in Laterno. 

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Is God Green?

A television special will be airing on PBS Wednesday, October 11 at 9:00 pm EST.  I won't be able to watch it (we don't get PBS here in Rome), but it sounds very interesting. There is also a lot of information on the PBS website.  Here is a brief introduction:

A new holy war is growing within the conservative evangelical community, with implications for both the global environment and American politics. For years liberal Christians and others have made protection of the environment a moral commitment. Now a number of conservative evangelicals are joining the fight, arguing that man's stewardship of the planet is a biblical imperative and calling for action to stop global warming.

But they are being met head-on by opposition from their traditional evangelical brethren who adamantly support the Bush administration in downplaying the threat of global warming and other environmental perils. The political stakes are high: Three out of every four white evangelical voters chose George W. Bush in 2004. "Is God Green?" explores how a serious split among conservative evangelicals over the environment and global warming could reshape American politics.

Also, a related paper is avaliable on the Acton Institute website regarding the connection between the climate change lobby and population control: From Climate Control to Population Control: Troubling Background on the 'Evangelical Climate Initiative'.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

What a weekend!

My first weekend in Rome was quite exciting.  I started off with a tour of the Ghetto Ebrao and Teatro Marcelo, then went to the beach on Saturday, and to the Sagra dell'uva (Festival of the Grape) in the nearby city of Marino. 

The tour on Friday night was pretty interesting; however, the whole thing was in Italian so I didn't catch everything that was going on.  We visited what used to be the Jewish Ghetto, where the streets are very narrow and there are many fun surprises around every corner.  Here is a picture of the Teatro Marcelo:

The next day I went with my roommate, Eva, and another girl from her Italian class to the beach.  It was still very warm!  I wasn't expecting it to be warm enough to swim, but once we got there I regretted not bringing a swimsuit. 

On Sunday, we went to the wine festival in Marino, a small town about 30 km from Rome.  It was quite the Italian experience!  There weren't any tourists there, lots of culture, and I felt like it was definitely the "real Italy."  The festival's history is very interesting.  In 1571, a battle was won on the 7th of October, the same day as a procession of Our Lady of the Rosary and Pope Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.  In 1716 Pope Clement XI extended the feast of the Most Holy Rosary that was started in Marino to the whole Church, to be celebrated on the first Sunday in October.

In 1925, the townspeople decided to have a festival to celebrate the God's gift of grapes to the town, which make the wine the town is known for throughout Italy.  So, all rolled into one big festival are the celebration of a battle won, the procession of Our Lady of the Rosary, and lots and lots of wine! 

Here are some children dressed in costumes preparing for the grand procession:

The nobles going to meet the victorious soldiers:

The miracle of the wine fountains (craziness!!):

I also had a great birthday here in Rome, I went out to a cafe with about 10 others from my Italian class and we stayed there most of the night.  Overall, life is good here!  The things I enjoy the most though are the small treasures that are hidden from the crowds that I come across on a daily basis pretty much.  The beautiful churches tucked away in side alleys, fountains in the middle of residential areas, rose gardens I come across on the way to or from different destinations.