Pope Benedict’s New Digs

A breathtaking view of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, seen from the rear of the Vatican Gardens

By now you’ve probably seen this picture:It’s the Mater Ecclesiae—the former convent inside the walls of Vatican City where Pope Benedict will reside in quiet prayer.Four times in the last decade, it has been my privilege to lead a group tour through the Vatican Gardens, where the Mater Ecclesiae is located.  I remember its story:  The residence has been occupied by a community of cloistered sisters whose mission was to tend a small garden, help with some domestic tasks, and pray for the … [Read more...]