Behind every story, there’s another story

Welcome to the new Hawaii Catholic Herald Blog! This is the official blog of the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Here, we will share diocesehonolululogosome of the experiences Herald contributors encounter during their reporting, writing, shooting and creating of each issue. We hope to bring personal insights to the articles you’ll find in our paper. Enjoy! (And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog through the “Widgets” menu at the top of the page.)

Ad Limina 2020: Last weekend in Rome

Bishop Larry Silva accompanied by Msgr. Gary Secor, vicar general, is in Italy from late January through early February, primarily for his ad limina visit to the Vatican and Pope Francis. Msgr. Secor is sending back regular bulletins on their experiences in the Eternal City. Note the 11-hour time difference between Hawaii and Rome when reading.

A few leftovers from Friday:

We were dropping off some Bishops for a meeting and I believe this is a photo of Santa Marta, the place where the pope lives inside Vatican City.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Back at the North American College yesterday evening I got this photo of our Diocese of Honolulu’s Coat of Arms on the walls of the college.

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And there is the Hawaiian flag.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

SATURDAY, Feb. 1, 2020

Here is the courtyard inside the North American College early on the last morning there, today.  We have now moved back to the Hotel Sant’Anna for two nights and an early departure on Monday morning for our long trip home: Rome, Paris, Los Angeles, Honolulu!

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This afternoon we visited and had lunch with the Superior General of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Community, Father Alberto Manuel Toutin Cataldo, (pictured next to Bishop Silva) and his community.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

I took this photo below of the entrance of the SSCC residence in Rome as we left.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Pictured in the doorway is a French SSCC member who is their archivist in Rome. He showed us some wonderful artifacts including some letters in St. Damien’s handwriting to his superiors. They also have a collection of items from Hawaii and other Pacific places.

Tonight we had dinner with Bishop Thomas Daly, the Bishop of Spokane Washington. His group of bishops begins their Ad Limina visit Monday.

SUNDAY, Feb. 2, 2020

Today is the Presentation of the Lord, when Jesus Christ shows us that he is like us in all things but sin by being presented in the Temple as every firstborn son was in his day.  He is in all of us, even those most in need.

We decided to do some walking today to Trastevere and came upon this sculptor outside Santo Spiritu Hospital.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

“I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink.” It is done by Timothy Schmalz. (He’s everywhere!)

Here is another one outside the same hospital. “I was ill and you visited me.”

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

We again saw a number of churches.  Ones like this are everywhere!  So many, I can’t keep track of all the names. Note the alarm notice on the altar at this one to deter any vandalism.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

A church

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Another beautiful one!

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

In this church is a side altar where Vietnamese Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan is buried. He was evidently many years in prison in Vietnam before being released and coming to Rome.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Outside the (I believe) original headquarters of the Sant’Egidio movement in Rome. The “Homeless Jesus,” statue I mentioned in an earlier post. I have a replica in my office.

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This is where Blessed Sacrament Father Bob Stark, the head of the Diocese of Honolulu’s Office of Social Ministry, works when he comes to Rome.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Another church!

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This is the Church of St. Cecilia in Rome.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This is her tomb.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

A closer view.  Note that her head is covered and the hands have only 1 finger and 3 fingers.  One God, three persons, according to Bishop Larry

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Outside the church

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Had to take this photo in Trastevere.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

The Tiber River. Looks pretty clean!

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Church of St. Bartholomew where he is buried, I believe.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Of course, we had to have “pranzo,” or lunch, before walking back to our hotel.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

 

Here we are walking back along the Tiber River to our hotel.

We have had a quiet evening, and I need to turn in since we have a 3:30 a.m. pick up for our 6 a.m. flight out of Rome. Rome-Paris-Los Angeles-Honolulu all in one day.

This has been a blessed trip for me. Aside from meeting the Holy Father, praying at the tombs of Peter and Paul, and the public masses, I had a chance to spend significant time in prayer and reflection.

With my batteries charged, I pray that I return to Honolulu with the light of Christ shining. And maybe a diet plan since the abundant nourishment has not just been spiritual but physical!

-Buono Notte from Rome,
Msgr. Gary

Ad Limina Visit 2020: St. Paul Outside the Walls

Bishop Larry Silva accompanied by Msgr. Gary Secor, vicar general, is in Italy from late January through early February, primarily for his ad limina visit to the Vatican and Pope Francis. Msgr. Secor is sending back regular bulletins on their experiences in the Eternal City. Note the 11-hour time difference between Hawaii and Rome when reading.

FRIDAY, Jan. 31, 2020

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here we are at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls for the final Ad Limina Mass for the Region XI bishops. Bishop Silva is at the center of this picture (fourth from right in the first row).

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

The Diocese of Oakland’s Bishop Michael Barber is presiding.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

We are having Mass at a side altar, but here is a view of the main altar over the tomb of St. Paul.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

After Mass, we gathered around the tomb of St. Paul for prayers. (You can see Bishop Silva to the left of the tomb).

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Another photo of St. Paul’s Basilica, Rome.

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“When I Was In Prison” sculpture by Timothy P. Schmalz. (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

I saw this outside St. Paul’s Basilica and couldn’t resist taking a photo. This sculpture is done by Timothy Schmalz, the same sculptor who did the “Homeless Jesus” and the “Angels Unawares” refugees sculpture.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here at the North American College in Rome, in a hallway depicting American saints, is a statue of St. Damien given to them a number of years ago.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

In the same hallway are pictures of Sts. Damien and Marianne.

This is our last weekend before flying back to Hawaii.

-Msgr. Secor

Ad Limina Visit 2020: St. Mary Major and time to reflect

Bishop Larry Silva accompanied by Msgr. Gary Secor, vicar general, is in Italy from late January through early February, primarily for his ad limina visit to the Vatican and Pope Francis. Msgr. Secor is sending back regular bulletins on their experiences in the Eternal City. Note the 11-hour time difference between Hawaii and Rome when reading.

Catholic News Service has a video including an interview with Bishop Silva in Rome about his meeting with Pope Francis, in which the bishop talks about asking the pope about the difference between proselytizing and evangelizing.

 

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2020

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This is the sacristy of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the first churches built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Much of this church dates from the fifth century. Here we are pictured preparing for an early morning Mass.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This basilica houses a relic of the crib of Jesus where we prayed after Mass.

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(Photo Courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here is the view looking toward the main door with the morning sun brightly shining within.

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Here we are!

U.S. BISHOPS REGION 11 'AD LIMINA' VISITS
Bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada gather for a group photo after concelebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major while making their “ad limina” visits in Rome Jan. 30, 2020. The bishops were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses to Pope Francis and Vatican officials. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Here are the bishops in attendance. Bishop Silva is second from right. Click on the image for a closer look.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

What a beautiful church!!!!

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Check out the ceiling.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This is the chapel that we had the Mass in.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Part of the outside of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here we are, this evening (Thursday) at Villa Stritch, the residence for United States priests working in various Vatican departments. They hosted a reception for all of us.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Another view of the interior of Villa Stritch–not too shabby!

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

I thought I would share another photo of St. Peter’s that I took on my way back from an errand I was involved in today. We had a beautiful sunny day, but it was in the high 30s in the early morning.

Since the non-bishops accompanying the bishops are not involved in the meetings with various Vatican departments, we have a lot of free time, time I have been using for a sort of mini-retreat, which has been very spiritually enriching.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This is the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at the North American College-Rome. This is where I have been spending a lot of prayer time while the bishops have been off at their meetings. Thank God for these grace-filled days.

-Msgr. Gary

A few more Catholic News Service photos from the Region XI U.S. bishops Mass at the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore:

U.S. BISHOPS REGION 11 'AD LIMINA' VISITS
Bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada pray in front of relics of the Nativity after concelebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major while making their “ad limina” visits in Rome Jan. 30, 2020. The bishops were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses to Pope Francis and Vatican officials. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
U.S. BISHOPS REGION 11 'AD LIMINA' VISITS
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and other bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada leave in procession after concelebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major while making their “ad limina” visits in Rome Jan. 30, 2020. The bishops were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses to Pope Francis and Vatican officials. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Orange, Calif., is pictured at the altar as bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada concelebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major while making their “ad limina” visits in Rome Jan. 30, 2020. The bishops were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses to Pope Francis and Vatican officials. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
U.S. BISHOPS REGION 11 'AD LIMINA' VISITS
Bishop Larry R. Silva of Honolulu, center, and other bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada concelebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major while making their “ad limina” visits in Rome Jan. 30, 2020. The bishops were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses to Pope Francis and Vatican officials. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Click on the picture below to play “Where’s Msgr. Secor?”

U.S. BISHOPS REGION 11 'AD LIMINA' VISITS
Bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada arrive in procession to concelebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major while making their “ad limina” visits in Rome Jan. 30, 2020. The bishops were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses to Pope Francis and Vatican officials. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Ad Limina Visit 2020: Vatican Museum visit

Bishop Larry Silva accompanied by Msgr. Gary Secor, vicar general, is in Italy from late January through early February, primarily for his ad limina visit to the Vatican and Pope Francis.

Read an interview with Bishop Silva about his Jan. 27 meeting with his fellow Region XI bishops and Pope Francis.

Msgr. Secor is sending back regular bulletins on their experiences in the Eternal City. Note the 11-hour time difference between Hawaii and Rome when reading.

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Photo courtesy Mgsr. Gary Secor

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 29, 2020

Today we met with Jesuit Father Nicola Mapelli, the Vatican Museum’s Ethnological Museum director in charge of non-European exhibits at the Vatican Museums. He wanted to show us the items from Hawaii on display.

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Photo courtesy Mgsr. Gary Secor

Here is a picture of St. Damien and his prayer book and some tools he used.

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Photo courtesy Mgsr. Gary Secor

This is a very interesting painting done by Sacred Hearts Father John Velghe, who painted St. Benedict, “the Painted Church,” in South Kona. This painting depicts the afterlife, somewhat after the same idea as Dante’s “Inferno” with levels of hell, etc.

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Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor

A very old book from Hawaii of tapa samples.

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Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor

Offices of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano

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Photo courtesy Mgsr. Gary Secor

A closer view of the entrance

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Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor

Stopped at this little chapel next to the Vatican newspaper offices. The Church of San Pellegrino is an ancient Roman Catholic oratory dedicated to St. Peregrine of Auxerre.

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Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor

 

Ad Limina Visit 2020: Bishop Silva celebrates Mass in a beautiful setting

Bishop Larry Silva accompanied by Msgr. Gary Secor, vicar general, is in Italy from late January through early February, primarily for his ad limina visit to the Vatican and Pope Francis.

Read an interview with Bishop Silva about his Jan. 27 meeting with his fellow Region XI bishops and Pope Francis.

Msgr. Secor is sending back regular bulletins on their experiences in the Eternal City. Note the 11-hour time difference between Hawaii and Rome when reading.

TUESDAY, Jan. 28, 2020

Well, it’s Tuesday evening, almost 11 p.m., but before I turn in, I wanted to send a few photos and notes from today.

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In the sacristy of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This is the scene early this morning in the sacristy of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, the Cathedral Church of Rome. Bishop Larry presided at the Mass today with the visiting Region XI bishops and priests. What a sacristy!

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In the sacristy of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here is a wider picture of the sacristy. You can imagine what the full church looks like.

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Bishop Silva presiding (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Above, Bishop Larry presiding in a side chapel at the basilica. Wonderful Mass.

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The cathedra of seat of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here is the cathedra, the chair of the Bishop of Rome, who is the pope of course.

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Interior of St. John Lateran (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Check out the canopy over the main altar.

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Region XI bishops from Nevada, Hawaii and California (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here are the bishops in attendance this morning. Bishop Silva as presider is in the gold vestment.

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Interior of the basilica (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Just a portion of the exquisite ceiling of St. John Lateran.

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Mosaic tile floor in the basilica (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

It was wonderful being a small group by ourselves in the basilica. Even the floor, as you can see, is a work of art.

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Exterior of St. John Lateran (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

One last picture as we were leaving the basilica for our bus. Although the weather was a little cloudy and cold, we felt the warmth of God’s love and light.

Good night to all!

-Msgr. Secor

Ad Limina Visit 2020: Meeting Pope Francis and praying with St. Peter

Bishop Larry Silva accompanied by Msgr. Gary Secor, vicar general, is in Italy from late January through early February, primarily for his ad limina visit to the Vatican and Pope Francis. Msgr. Secor is sending back regular bulletins on their experiences in the Eternal City. Note the 11-hour time difference between Hawaii and Rome when reading.

Monday, Jan. 27, 2020

As you may recall, I shared this image of one of the oldest Christian symbols, the Good Shepherd. Today, we had the great blessing of meeting the Chief Shepherd, after Jesus Christ, of the flock of God’s Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

U.S. BISHOPS REGION 11 'AD LIMINA' VISITS
Bishop Larry R. Silva of Honolulu and bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada concelebrate Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica during their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican Jan. 27, 2020. (CNS photo/Stefano Dal Pozzolo)

The day began with Mass at the Tomb of St. Peter just below the main altar at St. Peter’s Basilica. It was a very moving time of prayer and ended with all of us chanting the Nicene Creed as an expression of our renewed commitment to God and God’s Holy Catholic Church.

U.S. BISHOPS REGION 11 'AD LIMINA' VISITS
Bishop Larry R. Silva of Honolulu, center, and bishops from California, Hawaii and Nevada pray at the tomb of St. Peter after concelebrating Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica during their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican Jan. 27, 2020. (CNS photo/Stefano Dal Pozzolo)

After Mass, we spent some time in prayer for at the tomb of Peter and later upstairs in the Basilica.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Here we are upstairs in the basilica in front of the confessio leading to the tomb of St. Peter and in front of the Papal Altar. Bishop is more used to wearing these outfits; this is the first time since being named a monsignor that I have worn this cassock.

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(Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Bishop Larry and other prelates, monsignors, priests, and seminarians preparing to enter the Vatican apartments for the papal visit and meeting. Note the Swiss Guard.

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Papal Apartments (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

This is just a small sample of the beauty of the Papal Apartments. After we all met the Pope, the Holy Father spent a few minutes with the non-bishops to pray with us and bless us and encourage us to support our bishops, and the non-bishops were ushered out. Then he had a 3-hour meeting with the Bishops.

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Papal Apartments (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

As we were preparing to enter the elevators to leave the Papal Apartments I got this picture (above) of the hall and the Swiss Guards.

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Members of the U.S. bishops delegation outside of the Apostolic Palace on Jan. 27, 2020. (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

Some of our party outside the Apostolic Palace getting ready to board our vans and return to the North American College where we are staying. The bishops returned much later.

Meeting the Pope was a wonderful experience. He is very cordial, somewhat informal, and insists that no one bow, kiss his ring, etc.

The gesture of his spending a brief time for words of advice, prayer, and a blessing with us who aren’t bishops was unexpected and very nice.

The official papal photographer has captured our meeting with the pope and those photos will come later. I am truly blessed!!!!

-Msgr. Gary

 

Ad Limina Visit 2020: New accommodations

Bishop Larry Silva accompanied by Msgr. Gary Secor, vicar general, is in Italy from late January through early February, primarily for his ad limina visit to the Vatican and Pope Francis. Msgr. Secor is sending back regular bulletins on their experiences in the Eternal City. Note the 11-hour time difference between Hawaii and Rome when reading.

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Statue of the Good Shepherd (Photo courtesy of Msgr. Gary Secor)

SUNDAY, Jan. 26, 2020

Here is the statue of the Good Shepherd located at the North American College Seminary in Rome where we are now staying.

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Roman view (Photo courtesy Msgr. Gary Secor)

View of Rome from Bishop Larry’s suite at the North American.

We will see the Pope tomorrow morning, Monday, Jan. 27.  Stay tuned!!!

-Msgr. Secor