It’s a wrap

Our day started on the bus to the Vatican at 5:30 a.m. This time the walk-through security scanners were working, so the wait to get inside wasn’t as bad as the Consistory. We were about 50 feet from the altar inside of St. Peter’s Basilica which would have been great, had Pope Francis celebrated Mass there. Due to logistics and a huge crowd, the Mass was held outside. We felt badly. We had hoped the Holy Father would have come over to us for photo opportunities. What a privilege for the Cathedral of the Epiphany choir to sing with the Sistine Chapel Choir and instrumentalists! It was an incredible experience. Mass went 2 hours and we gathered for a group photo with the altar as our backdrop. While waiting to exit through the thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, we watched the Popemobile make its way through the crowd. Suddenly, it turned toward where we had gathered. Almost everyone got great pictures and some close-up video of the pope. The afternoon was spent touring St. Paul Outside the Walls, St John Lateran and St Mary Major. We concluded our Vatican pilgrimage with dinner and preparing for a 3 a.m. departing flight home. — Joanne Fox

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