Sunday, June 27, 2010

Live from Rome, The Wenski Wagon

And so, church, welcome to Pallium Week -- the end of the Vatican year, and likewise one of Rome's great showcases of the unity in diversity that is the faith at its best.

Joined by the traditional bands of pilgrims from home, some 38 new metropolitans will receive the symbol of their new office early Tuesday, including three Americans... yet while Archbishops Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati and Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee each spent part of their student days in the Eternal City, the Stateside delegation's lone figure without a Roman pedigree has already begun making a splash along the banks of the Tiber.

Then again, that's Miami for you... especially as, in a way, this week sees its coming-out party on the global church's center stage.

His sold-out delegation numbering over 300 -- a larger group than last year's "spiritual conga line" that accompanied the archbishop of New York -- Archbishop Tom Wenski and his flock converged on St Peter's Square at noontime for the Pope's Angelus.

Along the way, some Polish pilgrims in the Piazza spotted the head of the 1.3 million-member South Florida church... and as the Poles just so happened to have a band at the ready, a jamboree quickly ensued:

Following an afternoon Mass at St Mary Major, the Wenskini were scheduled to attend a reception thrown by one of their own: the US ambassador to the Holy See Miguel Diaz, raised the son of a waiter in Miami's Little Havana, later to become a professor and dean at its archdiocesan seminary, St Vincent de Paul at Boynton Beach.

Back home, meanwhile, the native-son's been keeping form and burning up the ground (sometimes on his Harley, sometimes not). Among other aspects of the "He's Back" tour, a new rector of St John Vianney College Seminary has already been named and will take office on Thursday, and a shake-up of the Miami chancery is expected not long after the archbishop's return from Rome.

For those who like planning early, the Pallium Mass will air at 3.30 am Eastern (0730GMT) Tuesday, with the usual suspects running the livestreams (check schedules for repeats), and CatholicTV airing the liturgy on a delay at noon Eastern, then posting the video on-demand.