Some scenes from our last Ad limina day; For Bishop Reiss and me, it’s off to Assisi

February 6, 2012 by

Here are the bishops vesting for this afternoon's (final) Mass, in the sacristy of St. John Lateran.

Since most are headed back to Detroit tomorrow, this was our last Ad Limina Mass together. Bishop Frank Reiss and myself have plans to stay an additional day, and will visit Assisi tomorrow.

All of you remain in our prayers as we wind things up…I hope we are in yours, too, for a safe return.

+Bishop Don Hanchon

P.S. Keep reading for my photos from our last day of the pilgrimage Read the rest of this entry »

Some parting shots: Last day to a pilgrimage of grace and renewal

February 6, 2012 by

Here we are on our way to the Sacristy following the last Mass of the pilgrimage at St. John Lateran. Surely it was a time of grace and renewal. Tomorrow, we’ll be on our way back to Detroit. Here are some more moments from the last day of our pilgrimage… Read the rest of this entry »

Mass at the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour: A fitting conclusion to our pilgrimage

February 6, 2012 by

Hello everybody. I hope this Monday is going very well for you. Rome continues to be white with the snow that fell mostly on Saturday. Though it is melting, it’s not melting fast.

Today in the afternoon we had the last official celebration of our Ad limina pilgrimage with the bishops of Ohio and Michigan, along with the priests and seminarians from our diocese who are studying here in Rome, at Mass at the Lateran Basilica. The formal title for that is the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour because it is the Holy Father’s cathedral. As I was offering Mass I thought this was a great way to consummate, bring to a fitting conclusion, our pilgrimage. And I’ve made it very much my prayer to ask the Lord to bless the Holy Father in his ministry for the priests and the people of the Diocese of Rome and I’m sure he very much has all of us in the Archdiocese of Detroit in his prayer.

This morning we were able to Read the rest of this entry »

Our 135-Year-Old Quinquennial Report

February 6, 2012 by

We had a request a few days ago for a photo of the oldest report to Rome from the Diocese of Detroit, which was sent in 1877 (before Detroit was an archdiocese). So, here it is. Here’s the text from Read the rest of this entry »

Today: To the Pope’s Parish

February 6, 2012 by

This photo was taken at a Holy Thursday celebration at St. John Lateran, the pope's parish and the Cathedral of Rome. (Catholic News Service photo taken by Tony Gentile)

Today is the final official day of the Detroit and Ohio bishops’ Ad limina pilgrimage. Because of the snow on Friday and Saturday, a number of meetings they had scheduled with the Vatican councils had to be rescheduled. At present, the bishops are trying to make up for lost time.

The culmination of today’s leg of the pilgrimage will be a Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. It is Read the rest of this entry »

Super Sunday Night

February 5, 2012 by

A nighttime image from Fr. Charlie Fox’s Facebook page. His caption: “Very consoling to see holy images on the city streets.”


Some more Sunday photos

February 5, 2012 by

One of the priest residents took this “team” portrait after Mass at Santa Casa Maria. Keep reading for a few more shots today from our travels… Read the rest of this entry »

Getting out again

February 5, 2012 by

I had my picture taken in front of the Trevi Fountain, under the ice and snow.

It’s about 10 minutes after five o’clock on a Sunday afternoon in Rome. It’s just starting to be a beautiful dusk. We celebrated Mass this morning and finally got out from under the snow to Casa Santa Maria, which is the original North American seminary. It’s now used as the graduate house for priests who are studying for advanced degrees in Rome after ordination.

The Rector commented on the history of Casa Santa Maria, the first US seminary in Rome, and the historic events that had taken place in its chapel. Among them was the episcopal ordination of a number of bishops--the last being Detroit's Edward Cardinal Mooney, in 1946.

We had Mass there, a lovely lunch. Archbishop Vigneron presided and talk about the role of the preacher in sharing the message of Jesus.

We had lunch with the residents of the La Casa Santa Maria, about 15 of them. On the way home I took a few more pictures of the snow in Rome. We stopped at the Trevi Fountain. Having seen it on numerous other occasions, I wanted to get a look at it in snow and ice, which we did.

Tomorrow we are going to be visiting several more congregations. Because of the snow on Saturday we missed our appointment with the Congregation for Saints, but that was an important one on our list. So we’re hoping to catch that tomorrow, sneaking it in between some others on Monday, our last day, and talk about Bishop Baraga. Read the rest of this entry »

Before & After Sunday Mass…

February 5, 2012 by

Here are the bishops getting ready for Mass at Casa Santa Maria. Archbishop Allen Vigneron, who was the principal celebrant, invited us to reflect on the Mystery of being Preachers of the Word.  Read the rest of this entry »

More snow, a squeegee, and scenes from the neighborhood on a quiet weekend

February 5, 2012 by

Just how well prepared are Romans for snow? I took this shot of a man clearing the sidewalk — no shovel, but a squeegee!  Anyhow, all our plans for Saturday were cancelled because there was no way to remove the snow, and buses can’t negotiate the steep hills without the use of salt! Everything has slowed down, so here are a few “scenes from the neighborhood” in lieu of hard news…

Read the rest of this entry »

Some Detroit history in Rome

February 5, 2012 by

Good afternoon everybody. Happy Sunday. I’ve just came back from the house where priests from the United States who are doing graduate university studies here in Rome live — the Casa Santa Maria, Our Lady of Humility.

One of the interesting things for all of us from Detroit is that this is the chapel in which Cardinal Mooney was ordained a bishop. So it was a great reminder to pray for all of the priests and the people of the Archdiocese. In fact, all of us who were archbishops of Detroit — Cardinal Mooney, Cardinal Dearden, Cardinal Szoka, Cardinal Maida and I — were all priest-students in that house.

I remembered all of you, especially asking that through my pastoral ministry and all that’s been done by my predecessors will bear fruit and holiness in the lives of everybody in the archdiocese.

God bless. I hope the week has been well for you, and thank you for your prayers.

Fact or Legend, St. Mary Major has an Interesting History

February 4, 2012 by

While the pilgrimage stop today to St. Mary Major was cancelled due to the snow on the ground, perhaps this unexpected twist still lends us an opportunity to learn about the holy place. In fact one of the best unverified stories about Roman churches surrounds Santa Maria Maggiore. Let’s again stressed “unverified” because the tale — while interesting — has mysterious origins, with no real documentation to back it up. Take it as you will… but Read the rest of this entry »

Praying For and With Pope Benedict XVI

February 4, 2012 by

Visit the Papal Transition blog to learn more about the Archdiocese of Detroit’s “Spiritual Bouquet” for Pope Benedict XVI, and to leave your kind words, and pledges of prayer and service to our Holy Father.

Click here to visit the “Spiritual Bouquet” for the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI.

Relying on Our Blessed Mother, In Any Weather…

February 4, 2012 by

Hello everybody, happy Saturday. Saturday is always a day dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Church. Today, our group was supposed to go to the church of St. Mary Major. The difficulty is, with the inches of snow here in Rome, traffic is still a great problem. So we weren’t able to go there.

We bishops of Ohio and Michigan instead gathered at the North American College, our U.S. seminary here in Rome, where many of us are staying and offered a Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin.

It was a great reminder to me that while the role of Peter in the Church is so important, even more important is the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is, in a sense, the role of holiness—each of us being good disciples.

I prayed for all of us back at home, and I ask that you continue to pray for me, especially pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary our mother, that she protect all of us and accompany us arm-in-arm as we make our way to the Lord.

I’ll blog again soon, and may God keep you all well. We look forward to having a blessed celebration of the Lord’s day.

Another snow day

February 4, 2012 by

Due to snow meetings had to be cancelled this morning. This picture is from the Cortille of Casa Santa Maria, where I lived when I was doing my graduate studies.

Due to the heavey snow we got yesterday, a number of our scheduled meetings today had to be cancelled.

Yesterday’s meetings (after our audience with the Holy Father – Feb. 3rd) we had schedule a visit to the Pontifical Council for Laity and for the Pontifical Council for the Family… Unfortunately both were cancelled…
It is really cold here… Brrrr …. but what can I say. I’m not an expert on these conditions.

This morning by 9:00am we received the call that our meeting to the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and The Tribunal Meetings had been cancelled! Snow is not falling but is very much staying in the Streets… Romans don’t know what to do… And I don’t know what to say! I guess snow is following me from Detroit.

Read the rest of this entry »


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