Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stational Church and lecture today.

It was 5:15am rise again today. Off we went to the next stational church of St. Anastasia for Tuesday of the 1st week of Lent. The book of the 40 Stational Churches begins its description of this ancient but very simple church as follows:

"Had we come to this church when it was first built, we would have still have been able to hear the sounds of chariots and the crowd inside the nearby Circus Maximus, one of the great symbols of the Roman Empire. Now, the stadium, like the empire that built it, is nothing more than ruins and memory, while the Faith it strove to crush by the executions of martyrs like St. Anastasia is still here."

This is the real spirit of participation in the 40 stational churches. Here are a few pictures of St. Anastasia and the celebration of Mass this morning.

The facade of St. Anastasia at the Piazza S. Anastasia, vie dei Cerchi, 55 in Rome.
Msgr. Joe Schaedel from Indianapolis said, "If I don't take your picture, how will you prove you were here"
The nave of the church is quite simple compared to other churches that I visited.This church was built in the 5th century when the devotion of St. Anastasia came to Rome after her martyrdom in Sirmium, now modern day Serbia. This curch is also important because St. Jerome, the great doctor of the church who translated the Bible into the Latin, used to come here to celebrate Mass when he visited Rome. St. Anastasia's traditional feast day is December 25th. So on Christmas morning, the Pope used to come to celebrate Mass here.
View from the altar as Mass was starting.
A view out to the church from the sanctuary.
As Msgr. Joe Schaedel and I were waiting for the bus, we were greeted by a two priests and a group of young people. WE introduced ourselves and learned that the priests are naval chaplains and the group of young people are midshipmen at the US Naval Academy. They were on their way to St. Anastasia's for the morning Mass as well. We would meet them again in the refectory at the NAC for pranzo later that morning.

Back at the NAC, we started a 5-day series of lectures in moral theology with Fr. Mark Attard. O Carm.
Fr. Attard's presentation was excellent, quite technical, and interesting. I am not going to do any outlines like I did for the previous talks. His presentation needs to be completed before a good discussion can be offered.

In a nutshell, he offered a great history in the development of moral theology as a discipline. He talked about the history of the sacrament of "confession", and the history that led to the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council. There will be much more about all this when I have his whole presentation.

Stay tuned.

Tomorrow I am passing on the stational church which is St. Mary Maggiore. It will be celebreated by Cardinal Law in the same chapel that we were in for Mass two weeks ago. I'll use tomorrow to sleep in, attend the lecture with Fr. Attard from 9:30am to 12:30pm. In the afternoon, we are visiting the church of San Clemente, an amazing church and very important church both historically and for its archaelogy.

Ask Fr. Thibault about it. It's one of his favorites.

Tomorrow evening, there is Italian class followed by most museums in Rome open for free. Rome is preparing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy pon Thursday. MOst of Italy is closed on Thursday with parades, fireworks, and theater.

I am also trying to decide where to travel this weekend.

So blessings to everyone. Buona notte a tutti.