UPDATE….I was briefly outside (where it was warmer than my apartment which is 64 degrees) and learned that it was the government that decided that heat could be turned on on November 21st, not the 8th as I wrote below, so the Vatican was merely going along with Italian rules.


Honolulu to Rome – 11 time zones, 4 airports and 9,576 miles! The trip to Hawaii was Rome to Newark, then Newark non-stop to Honolulu (9,249 miles). Thank the Lord I have a great Frequent Flyer program with United!

I am safely back in Rome and I think we all know that, after a wonderful trip, long or short, there is something special about arriving home, with perhaps having our own bed and pillow being the best thing.

However, I arrived back to a Rome that was colder than when I left. The heat has not yet been turned on in my building and I am soooo cold! The temps really drop when the sun goes down! I learned this morning that the Vatican, which owns my building, will only give permission to provide heat on November 21st!!

Turning the heat on in the fall and off in the spring has always been a government decision in Italy. Because of the gas and oil crises this year, the Italian government had given permission to have the heat go on in the region of Lazio on November 8 but privately owned homes and businesses could decide their own time frame for turning on the heat, thus the Vatican decision. Heat can be turned on earlier in the typically colder northern regions and a bit later in the usually warmer southern.

As I write, I am wearing 3 layers of wool and have a warm scarf around my neck. I have a small electric heater that I turned on just outside my bathroom door to make it possible to shower and dress. My AC unit also provides heat so I can turn that on for brief spells in my office, Deo gratias!

This plaque in my office has a new meaning today!

I did see a news story today that reported that Prince Harry was at Pearl Harbor on Friday, Veterans day – and so was I but our paths did not cross, He visited the Arizona monument and at one point I was filming it from the dock of the Missouri but…..the twain did not meet!

And now a few stories from Sunday and Monday….


PAPAL TELEGRAM OF CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF EXPLOSION IN ISTANBUL – In a telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and addressed to the Apostolic Nuncio in Türkiye, Archbishop Marek Solczyński, on Tuesday, Pope Francis expressed his deep sadness upon learning of the deaths and injuries caused by the explosion of a bomb in Istanbul on Sunday. Pope Francis “sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have died, assuring the injured and those who mourn their loved ones of his spiritual closeness,” the message reads.  The Pope said he offers his prayers so “that no act of violence will discourage the efforts of the people of Türkiye to build a society based on the values of fraternity, justice and peace.” The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, also expressed “firm condemnation” of the attack and, according to local media reports, went to the scene of the bombing to remember the victims. Pope sends condolences to victims of Istanbul explosion – Vatican News

IN A LETTER TO ARCHBISHOP OF BARCELONA, POPE FRANCIS DISCUSSES ST IGNATIUS’ CONVERSION, AND SPIRITUAL EXERCISES – Exactly five hundred years ago on Monday, St Ignatius arrived in Barcelona, a city which played an important role in his formation. To mark the occasion, Pope Francis sent a letter to Cardinal Archbishop Juan José Omella Omella of Barcelona, in which he examines the saint’s conversion and his famed Spiritual Exercises. Pope Francis began his letter by vividly evoking the event being commemorated.   Five hundred years ago today, he wrote, “Our protagonist, having served the king and his convictions to the point of shedding his blood, was wounded in body and spirit, had stripped himself of everything, and was determined to follow Christ in poverty and humility.” “It mattered little to him,” the Pope continued, “whether he stayed in houses for the poor, or had to withdraw into a cave to pray, and least of all that this meant being ‘esteemed vain and mad’ (S.E. 167).” Pope: May we turn wars, plagues into opportunities for conversion – Vatican News

POPE ADDRESSES MEMBERS OF DICASTERY FOR COMMUNICATION – Pope Francis spoke with members and employees of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication as they meet in plenary session, and urged media professionals to let their heart and Christian values shine through in their work. The Pope gave his prepared remarks to Dr. Paolo Ruffini, the Dicastery’s Prefect, and then spoke off-the-cuff, so that he could offer something “more spontaneous and uncensored, which is more fun!” He offered his reflections on the importance of communication, calling it a “round trip”. “There is no one-way communication: it goes and comes back; it goes and comes back. And in this we too grow.” Pope Francis: ‘Media professionals must engage with audience’ – Vatican News

POPE FRANCIS MET WITH SOCCER PLAYERS AHEAD OF A MATCH IN ROME’S OLYMPIC STADIUM. The third edition of the 2022 Match for Peace, organized by the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes, took place on Monday evening at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, with the support and blessing of Pope Francis. Ahead of the match, the Pope greeted the world-renowned soccer players, organizers and their families, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. The Holy Father thanked the athletes for sowing seeds of peace in a world marked by war. Peace, the Pope said, is the fruit of gestures like theirs, namely “of closeness, friendship, the outstretched hand,” and “not with the stone in your hand to throw it.” These “seeds of peace,” he said, may be small, but “are capable of changing the world.” “Thank you for this that you do, for today’s game, because you say, ‘We want peace’, in a world that always looks for wars and destruction.” Pope thanks ‘Match for Peace’ players for offering outstretched hand – Vatican News






Sunday, March 27 is the second anniversary of the “Extraordinary Moment of Prayer in Times of Epidemic” presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square in 2020 during the most acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it also marks two years since the creation of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission.

For the occasion, the Dicasteries for Integral Human Development and for Communication prepared a short video to commemorate the journey made so far. This video, which will be available on the dicastery’s YouTube channel starting at 12:15 pm, Sunday, March 27, gathers the messages of the Urbi et Orbi blessing of March 27, 2020 and seeks to inspire hope for a better future rooted in faith. It will be screened Sunday at the Angelus and will be available in 9 languages ​​(English, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Russian and Ukrainian)

Dicastery Youtube channel:

As of 12:15 pm, Sunday, March 27, the video may be used for any initiatives in the press and disseminating it on social and non-social channels. (Source: press release from bothdicasteries)




The Dicastery for Communication made the following announcement today on the new organization structure of the Holy See Press Office:

As announced last December 31, the prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, Paolo Ruffini started a process to form a new organizational structure of the press office of the Holy See after the appointment of the interim director Alexander Gisotti.

The prefect then named as a senior advisor to the director, Romilda Ferrauto from France, retired manager of the French section of Vatican Radio and assistant to the press office for the last five General assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.

In addition, the prefect has entrusted the role of assistant to the director to Sister Bernadette M Reis, FSP, from the United States, a journalist for Vatican News and consultant for the communications commission of the UISG, and Raul Cabrera Perez from Peru, long time journalist for Vatican Radio and collaborator on the Information Commission for the Synod of Bishops on Young People.

Lastly, the role of office manager for the press office has been entrusted to Thaddeus M. Jones from the United States, member of the coordinating team in the Vatican News portal office and former official of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.