St Paul’s Fellowship Meeting

Filed under: St.Paul Fellowship |

With the Holy Father’s announcement of his resignation and the pending national elections in Italy, it was an exciting time to be in Rome for the first St Paul’s Fellowship event in support of ICCS.

Lightened St  Paul Fellowship  Brochure
Lightened St Paul Fellowship Brochure

 

The Inaugural Class of St Paul’s Fellow numbered 13, with 10 of the Fellows being present. The events started on Thursday evening, 14 February, with a welcome reception on the rooftop café of the Hotel Alimandi-Tunisi, one block from the wall of Vatican City. While everyone enjoyed the evening’s bird’s eye view of Rome and the Vatican, local refreshments and hors d’houvres were served. Bray Barnes, Fellowship Chairman and ICCS World Chairman, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support of Catholic Scouting around the world. A briefing of the following day’s events was provided along with a well deserved “Thank you” to Fellowship and Foundation Vice Chair Jerry Scanlan for making it all come together.

Friday morning started early with a private guided tour of the Vatican Museum. The Sistine Chapel was the first stop and everyone enjoyed the solitude of this sacred place before the Museum opened. While the Museum Professor, Dr.Romina Cometti, provided insight into Michelangelo’s masterpiece, one could not help to think of the Church’s history that had taken place and how, in a few short weeks, the Chapel would be, once again, transformed into as place where a new Holy Father would be selected to lead to 1.2 Billion Roman Catholics around the world. Words cannot adequately describe the deep sense of humility you have while embracing your Catholic faith.

image009This experience was followed by a tour of the Raphael rooms which served as the Papal apartment many years ago, along with stops to admire the many works of art that fill the Museum. A walk through some of the private courtyards of the Vatican was followed by a casual walk around the beautiful Vatican Gardens which was highlighted by stops that the Eagle Fountain, the Jubilee Bell, and the recreation of the Grotto at Lourdes. As we strolled down tree lined pathways, one could not help notice the renovations that were taking place at, what is to become the new residence of the Pope Emeritus.

After a rest for an Espresso (A must in Rome) and a welcome meeting with Fr. Mark Haydu, Executive Director of the Patrons of the Vatican Museum, the afternoon found the Fellows touring the Catacombs underneath St Peter’s Basilica. A true sense of what Rome was like before Christ could be seen and understood. A very spiritual moment was shared by all as we viewed the tomb of St Peter, underneath the main alter. A must, was a final stop within the Basilica itself. Despite the hundreds of people, you were not crowded and marveled at the awesomeness of this Church that dominates the Roman skyline.

image013That evening, the Fellows attended a reception hosted by the Prince Nikolaus von Liechtenstein, the Patron of the Fellowship and the Liechtenstein Ambassador to the Holy Sea. As an added treat, His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Prefect of the Fellowship joined us. A day of Memories and deep spiritual reflection was concluded with dinner with the Foundation Board.

Saturday began with many of the Fellows attending the Foundation Board meeting. A special Mass was arranged at St Anna of Vatican City, the private Chapel of those who live there. It is this church where Pope Francis I held his first mass as Pope on Sunday 17 March.

His Eminence, Cardinal Burke celebrated Holy Mass with Concelebrants, World Chaplain Fr. Leo LeBlanc, Foundation Board member and Past NCCS National Chaplain, Fr. Donald Hummel and French Chaplain and the ICCS 100th Anniversary Chaplain Fr Jacques Gagey.

At the conclusion of Mass, Cardinal Burke and Prince Nikolaus inducted the new members and presented them with their certificates of recognition along with their lapel pins.

The Class of 2013 comprised of Americans Patricia and Bray Barnes, Scott and Deborah Harvey, Rev. Donald Hummel, Rev. Leo LeBlanc, and Gerard and Susan Scanlan, along with Roberto and Elisabetta Cociancich (Italy), Toby Suzuki (Japan), Prince Nikolaus von Lichtenstein (Lichtenstein), Georges and Daniella El Ghorayeb (Lebanon), Rev. Jacques Cagey (France).  Although not in attendance, Americans Jimmy Wong, Rev. Randy Cuevas and Rev. Joe Weber were also inducted.

Following Mass, the Fellows enjoyed a reception at the rooftop Les Etoiles (The Stars) Restaurant. A stunning and unobstructed view of St Peter’s Basilica at night was breathtaking as everyone joined Cardinal Burke and Prince Nikolaus for dinner of Italian specialties prepared especially for the event.

As we said good bye to the Eternal City, we left with wonderful memories reminding ourselves that we are always in the service of those 6 million Catholic Scouts around the world. We are truly blessed.

Lightened St  Paul Fellowship  Brochure
Lightened St Paul Fellowship Brochure
Lightened_St_ Paul_Fellowship_ Brochure(2).pdf
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