After eight days crossing three countries, the Volo Papale is en route back to Rome, where it's scheduled to touch down shortly before 5pm local time. If his usual practice holds, B16 will be choppered to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo for a couple days of rest before resuming his public schedule at the Vatican.
One question remains, though: what'll happen to all those scarves?
From Yad Vashem to Bethlehem, Amman to the Aida Refugee Camp, it's been an intense week -- controversies included... not to mention, by far, the most speeches a recent PopeTrip's seen, to boot.
While anyone who's missed any of the major texts can find 'em by scrolling down the page, the Holy See's posted every public word from the last week on its own pilgrimage portal, while CatholicTV and EWTN each have most of the stops posted for on-demand viewing.
Lastly, as always, all the coverage you've seen here comes thanks to the generous support of the folks who've lent a hand to keep these pages afloat, especially since last week's reminder on how the lights stay on 'round these parts.
To one and all who've each aided mightily toward that end, all the thanks in the world -- and now, with the week's Big News now in the books, the notes can finally be handled, so expect yours over the weekend. The response was humbling and an enormous help to get the shop out of the hole... but even so, keeping on remains a mountain to climb. Bottom line: thanks to one and all for the support, the encouragement, the prayers -- it never ceases to boggle the mind that our little piece of newsdom's gotten this far, but that's what always happens when, in one way or another, the church (read: everybody) makes a work its own.
Looking down the line -- because, well, there's always something to look to -- as many as four top slots in the Roman Curia are on-deck to receive new occupants within weeks of the Pope's return, and early reports point to another handful of Stateside shifts soon in the offing.
More on those as they're firmed up... for all the rest, as always, stay tuned.