The Unthinkable: To Rome I Go!

Back in July I did one of my loud, obnoxious huff-and-puffs:

Honestly, do I have to go to Rome and storm the press office of the Holy See, and sit the curia down and pull their hats off to smack them upside the head?

Now, oddly–unimaginably–well…I’m going to Rome and will be visiting the press offices of the Holy See, to boot!

And no, you smart-alecks, the picture above is not meant to indicate that my presence in Rome portends a coming darkness. Stop that!

What happened is basically this: I was invited to attend a seminar in Rome, meant for Catholic writers and journalists. I said, “lovely idea, but no–kids out of work, one still in school–can’t be done.”

But they offered a “scholarship” which paid for most of the seminar fees. And then my husband, who has been hoarding frequent flier miles for a “someday” trip to Italy said, “I have enough ff miles to get fly there and work out accommodations, as well…”

And suddenly the thing was doable. It all fell into place so neatly, and so quickly, that I figure it’s “meant to be.” But because I hate to fly I of course hope that means that it is “meant to be” that I arrive safe-to-Rome and safely home, and not, you know….that it is meant to be that I…not do that.

I hate to fly. For my DH it’s practically second nature. He gets comfortable, watches movies, sleeps; he’s quite at ease. I, on the other hand cannot watch movies, read or sleep when I fly; I must stay awake and watch the plane-tracker as we fly over the ocean, in order to diligently insure that the metal box with engines remains in the air, where it belongs.

I trust that God’s Will will prevail, in all things.

And yet, I still have to keep the plane up!

So, it has come to this; I’ll be taking off for Rome next week, and will be gone until mid-September. Not sure of the date-of-return, b/c I’m still trying to wrangle a way to slip over to the UK and cover/simply watch Pope Benedict’s visit to that “green and pleasant land,” and still be able to use my ff miles to get home. It would seem a shame to be so near and yet so far, wouldn’t it?

While I am gone you will be ably served by three (perhaps four) excellent, warm, funny, intelligent writers who have agreed to do me the honor of guest-blogging here. I’ll introduce them to you over the weekend.

And yes, I hope to be able to provide a few Rome-flavored posts (or drop a few pictures by here) while I’m away and the WOTD’s and other good pieces will be added and attended to as well, over at Patheos.

So, really, not much will change while I’m gone. It’s likely you won’t even miss me.

But I hope you’re pray traveling mercies for me.

Starting, like…now?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Cathy

    Oh – I am so happy for you!! Have a most wonderful time – it’s an experience you will never forget! Tell the Pope I said ‘hi!’

  • Mrs. Peel

    Elizabeth, I’m so happy for you! You will have a wonderful time!

    In addition to the churches, if you like art, make time for Bernini’s David in the Galleria Borghese (reservations required). I wept when I saw it.

  • Mutnodjmet

    Rome is awesome; I fell in love with it the first time I was there in 2004, then again this summer when I toured there with my son. Try to pace yourself, as it is easy to try and do too much.

    Italians are such wonderful people, and keep an eye out for Tea Parties there when you go!


  • Carolyn

    I am leaving for Rome on Sunday and will be there for three and a half months for study abroad.

    I am living right next to the Vatican and will be packing all day today. I have been reading your blog for several years now, thats so cool that you are going too!

  • Kate

    Must, must, must see the Scavi – Peter’s tomb – it’s amazing….

  • Joe Doakes

    I’d wish you a safe trip but you won’t need it.

    In ground school you learn that an airplane flies by the air rushing over the wing creating a partial vacuum, strong enough to lift the entire airplane and hold it in the air. The science to explain it is still only a theory, which we can’t prove but take on faith.

    So in a very real sense, when you ask: “What holds the plane up?” the answer is “Nothing . . . but your faith.”

    Having read your column, I know you’ve got LOADS of that! Piece of cake. Hurry home.


  • SKAY

    Have a wonderful time

    I will miss you.

  • Maureen

    It couldn’t happen to a nicer Anchoress and Anchor-Man. :) Have fun and be good!

  • JAL

    Have a lovely trip.

    Take some pictures for us.

  • kelleyb

    I was hoping you would get to Rome. Enjoy! God Bless you.

  • cathyf

    Oh, watch out for the pick-pockets, too! A little tip — we are about the same size, I think. Which is usually not so fun, but in pick-pocket land it is mightily convenient to have a bra sized big enough to hold all of your essentials safely tucked away. :-)

  • Brooklyn

    Three cheers !



  • Deborah

    Amazing news! Best of luck!

    I got tired after the first 20 comments, so maybe this has already been said. Check out Ryanair for very cheap flights to London from Rome. The quoted prices won’t include taxes, but even still, you should be able to secure something for between 20-70 euro each way. It’s one of the few things I like about living in Europe… the cheap flights! :D

    I used to be terrified of flying as well, despite being hauled all over the world as the child of an expat and then repeating the pattern myself as an adult. Jennifer at Conversion Diary wrote about this recently and her post really helped me:link

    Thrilled for you that you get to have such an incredible experience. Safe travel!

  • Hantchu

    I guess my previous comment didn’t get through. Mazal tov on the scholarship; I am sure the donor (as well as the rest of us) will get good value. We look forward to hearing about everything.

    May G-d bless your going out and your coming in, and open your eyes and ears to learning and enlightenment.

    And drink a lot of water, both on the plane and when you get there. Dehydration can really hit hard.

  • NanB

    Have a wonderful trip. Have a cappuccino for me!
    Have a safe flight. Enjoy Rome! May God Bless you!

  • B. Ellis

    No worries, just pray to St. Captain Tom Vanderwoude just prior to takeoff. Ask him to intercede for you with the crew of your aircraft, those flying close to you, and the air traffic controllers.

    He isn’t beatified yet but he will be.