Is it hot where you are? It certainly is in the Eternal City!

This is the time of year when I say extra prayers for all the men and women religious who have to don religious habits, even if some are made of lighter material, but there is always a layer or two, a black suit jacket for priests, long skirts and dresses for the sisters, etc.

These days in Rome, if there is a square foot of shade somewhere, someone will be standing in it. It might be the shade of a tree or the colonnade in St. Peter’s Square or the shady side of a street. It might even be a light post that casts a very slim shadow on a sidewalk – a shadow perhaps 12 inches across but if you see this at or near a bus stop, you will see 4 people standing on that shadow to get out of the sun! Saw that a few days ago and I should have taken a picture!

At one bus stop near my home there are two small trees that create some shade and it is amazing how many people can fit into that space! Whenever I see that I think of the words on the state of Liberty: “…. give me your huddled masses!”

But on to cooler topics….


Hopefully, as you listen to my news wrap up and weekly interview on “Vatican Insider,” you are in a cool setting! My guest this weekend is Deacon Dan Borne of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was in Rome for the Jubilee of Deacons with his wife Lissette who was, by the way, a reader at the papal Jubileee Mass!

Dan and Lissette are friends and they were at my house when I hosted a mini-Jubilee for four permanent deacons and their wives. We talk about that get-together, about who and what a deacon is, what deacons do, what they cannot do, etc. Really worth tuning in!

At the mini-Jubilee – with Deacon Harold –


Here’s the other hat that Dan wears – announcer at LSU Tigers football games!



As you know, in the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. If you live outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00 am (Eastern time). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK FOR YOUR TIME ZONE. Past shows are in VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=


Reproductions of rare Vatican manuscript to be presented to project donors

I think this is such an interesting story that I wanted to share it with you. I went to the site and found the English version: https://support.digitavaticana.org/supporters/?language=en

Definitely something to follow. By the way, the Vatican Library Twitter account is: https://twitter.com/@vaticanlibrary  – Library English-language website is: https://www.vatlib.it/home.php?ling=eng&res=1188×668

The Twitter account tells you that the Library is open until July 15 and then closes for a month. Not many offices in the Roman Curia close for an entire month but curia staff generally take (are given!) fairly long vacations during those months and activity is greatly reduced in many offices. When I worked at VIS, there were so few of us on staff that even one person taking their annual vacation caused work burdens on the others. It thus made good sense to close for the entire months of August when Popes were usually on vacation in Castelgandolfo and the work rhythm was reduced.

The full article is much longer (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/reproductions-rare-vatican-manuscript-presented-070000913.html). I’ve chosen to highlight just a few paragraphs.

TOKYO & ROME–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Vatican Apostolic Library, Digita Vaticana, NTT DATA Corporation and Canon Inc. today announced their agreement to present special faithful reproductions of a rare 1,600-year-old manuscript to the first 200 people/organizations who donate 500 euros or more to support an ongoing project that is using NTT DATA technology to digitally archive thousands of manuscripts at the Vatican Library. The reproductions will give the beholders the impression of looking at the original masterpiece. Donations should be made to Digita Vaticana (www.digitavaticana.org), a nonprofit organization that raises funds for the Library’s digitization project. Beginning today, reproductions, certified by the Library, can be booked by making a donation, and Digita Vaticana will distribute this special gift to donors and supporters of the project in September.

About the Digital Archiving Project of the Vatican Apostolic Library

In April 2014, the Vatican Apostolic Library and NTT DATA began working on the project of digitally archiving manuscripts of the Library, with plans to digitize approximately 3,000 handwritten manuscripts by 2018. The Library’s overall project is intended to digitally archive all manuscripts preserved in the Library, amounting to some 82,000 manuscripts and 41 million pages. High-definition images are observable at the Library’s website, DigiVatLib (http://digi.vatlib.it), using a special viewer built with NTT DATA’s digital archive solution technology, AMLAD™. On May 17, 2016, the website was renewed to provide access to the Library’s full archive of digitized manuscripts and incunabula. DigiVatLib complies with the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), an open standard for easy access by researchers worldwide.

About the Vatican Apostolic Library

The Vatican Apostolic Library, also known as the “Popes’ Library,” is located in Vatican City. It was founded by Pope Nicholas V Parentucelli (1447-1455) in the Palace of Popes. In the late 16th century it was moved to the Sistine Hall by Pope Sixtus V Peretti (1585-1590), on the top floor of a new building built to delimit northward the Belvedere Court. The current seat, which began with Pope Leo XIII Pecci (1878-1903), includes adjacent buildings into which the Library was expanded to accommodate additional acquisitions and donations during its long history. The Library documents the history and thinking of humankind through arts and literature, mathematics and science, and law and medicine, from the early Christian era to the present day. It encompasses works of numerous languages and cultures ranging from the Far East to pre-Columbian America. The collection encompasses 82,000 manuscripts, 100,000 archival units, 1.6 million printed books (including 8,700 incunabula printed before 1501), 400,000 coins and medals, 100,000 prints, drawings and matrices, and 150,000 photographs.

About Digita Vaticana

Digita Vaticana Onlus is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 to promote the conversion of 82,000 Vatican Library’s manuscripts into digital format. It conducts fundraising activities to support this digitization initiative, and it is developing communication channels to disseminate and articulate the immeasurable value of these irreplaceable historical documents. For details, and to book a limited-edition copy of the reproduction, visit www.digitavaticana.org.