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SHQ in Rome: Days 1 and 2By Camie Dewey
This week, Sowing Holy Questions will follow a group of seminarians visiting Rome, on a trip led and curated by The Rev. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, PhD, the Duncalf-Villavaso Professor of Church History. We’ll also share on social media under the hashtag #sswrome18. We invite you to follow along.
We arrived Sunday morning at Domus Internationalis Paulus VI, our accommodations for the next nine days. An 8 1/2 hour plane ride and a leap forward in time is a recipe for exhaustion, but excitement, curiosity, and time for a nap won out, and many found themselves exploring the shopping district and familiarizing themselves with our immediate surroundings. There is so much history here, it’s a bit overwhelming.
The Pantheon is the oldest unsupported concrete dome in the world and now houses the remains of many leaders of the republic, poets, and artists such as Raphael. The first step inside is breathtaking- the historical and spiritual significance is palpable, even among the hundreds of tourists.
Housed in one of the ancient palaces is the Anglican Centre of Rome overseen by Archbishop Bernard who welcomed us and gave a brief history of the center. Started in 1966, the center promotes educational opportunities in order to create harmony and unity between Anglican/Episcopal churches and the Roman Catholic Church.
The morning of the first full day was spent in the Forum: an ancient economic and political hub. It was a meeting place, shopping district, and the site of many Senate and popular assembly negotiations. Palatine Hill also housed the Emperor Augustus’ palace, of which there now stand only ruins. The next to final picture of this series shows Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski explaining the the history of the Arch of Titus-the depiction shows the Ark of the Covenant and the menorah of the temple being taken to the temple of Jupiter as spoils of war.
The Tiber River (photo 1) flows through the middle of the city, and we spent our evening visiting churches on Tiber Island and across the river in Trastevere, a more bohemian area of Rome. The Basilica di San Bartolomeo all’Isola (photo 2) on Tiber Island is dedicated to the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries. In Trastevere, Chiesa Rettoria di Santa Cecelia (photo 3) is named after the martyr Cecelia, now the patron saint of musicians. A statue of her is situated at the altar, her shroud covers her face (photo 4).
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