Franciscans and Dominicans

June 10, 2016
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1.) Weekend in Assisi

We just arrived back from an overnight trip in Assisi, which was amazing. I went with a group of three other seminarians, but there were other groups that went as well.  I greatly enjoyed spending time in prayer at the tomb of St. Francis as well as getting to know St. Clare and seeing her tomb.  There was a beautiful candle-lit Rosary procession (which happens every Saturday night) outside of the church, St. Mary of the Angels, which is considered to be the birth place of the Franciscans, were many first came to follow St. Francis.

2.) Scavi tour of St. Peter’s tomb

We were given the archaeological history of the excavation under St. Peter’s basilica which was an exciting search for the remains of the first Pope, the man to whom Christ entrusted His Church. At the end we were able to pray at St. Peter’s tomb as well as the tomb of several other Popes in the crypt of the basilica.

3.) Santa Sabina

After our tours on Friday three of us went to go find a key hole which is known for its view of the dome of St. Peter’s.  On our way there we found a basilica called Santa Sabina.  I remembered that I was told to make sure to visit.  We went in and asked for a private tour.  One of the Dominicans (it is the mother Church of the Dominican Order) showed us a chapel where St. Francis and St. Dominic prayed together and the three of us went in and were able to pray there as well.

4.) Tour of St. Peter’s Basilica 

We toured St. Peter’s with Fr. David Pignato on Friday and he showed us many side chapels, architectural features and theological implications of the Vatican basilica.  This was after we had Mass at the tomb of St. John Paul II.

5.) Post Cards and wondering St. Peter’s Square

This week I made sure to get out and find the Vatican post office.  I went down and mailed some post cards to family and friends with Vatican postage.  Afterwards I took time to just wander around St. Peter’s Square.  I looked at all the statues on top of the colonnade, watched the pilgrims come in and I just simply “took it all in.”

Matthew Gill
The Rome Experience Class of 2016

Diocese of Fall River, MA
Ordination 2018