Our Monk in Rome
Fr. Christian Leisy, OSB, will begin making reports while in Rome on assignment with the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation beginning in January, 2017.
If you like, we can send these to your email address as they’re made available.
Impressions of Italy: Mountains, Lakes and an Island Italy is a land of nearly infinite beauty. This reality is always brought home to me when I travel outside of Rome. Rome itself is filled with beauty, of course, especially in its art and architecture, much of it...read more
I imagine that after the Holy Land, Rome is likely the next biggest Holy Week destination place on planet earth. With spring’s arrival, that means longer daylight, warmer weather, trees in leaf and flowers blooming. At the same time, the influx of pilgrims and...read more
“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”—attributed to American author Mark Twain. Is monasticism dying or even dead? I occasionally have heard variations of that question since arriving in Rome four months ago. If you visit certain monasteries or read reports or...read more
In another posting, called “Impressions of Italy: A Visit to Umbria,” I wrote about my weekend in Foligno with the Little Brothers of Jesus Caritas. Their Order and most of its members are based at the ancient Benedictine monastery, called “Abbazia di Santa Croce in...read more
Until now my online reflections have been focused on the city of Rome. That makes sense since I hadn’t ventured beyond Rome since my arrival in Italy on January 13th this year. An outing to Umbria, land of Saint Francis, took place on the weekend of March 24th, which...read more
The headquarters (called “the curia”) of our Subiaco Cassinese Benedictine Congregation is housed in a former monastery, called “Sant’Ambrogio della Massima,” in the heart of Rome, the “centro storico,” or “historic center” of the Eternal City. Centrally located it...read more
Crossing streets in Rome might be considered a fine art. At nearly any hour of the day, beginning by 7:00 am or even earlier, and extending well into the night, the many and often wide major streets of Rome are teeming with traffic. This is no surprise or cause for...read more
An important Roman saint and special patroness of Benedictine oblates is Saint Frances of Rome. She was born in Rome in 1384, a time of famine, war and epidemics in the Eternal City. As an adult, Frances took on numerous charitable works on behalf of the poor of Rome...read more
In the summer of 1985 I enrolled in a language school in Florence, Italy, for two months of intensive Italian study, five days a week, four hours each day. The Tuscan city of Florence (“Firenze” in Italian), I had been told, was the place to go to learn Italian. I...read more
The little church of Saint Theodore (San Teodoro, in Italian) of Amesa, is a 6th century Roman basilica dedicated to a 4th century Greek soldier-martyr, who died in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) at Amasa. Located on the Palatine Hill, one of Rome’s seven hills, the...read more
On February 10th, 2017, Feast of Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, our Congregation’s Curia at Saint’Ambrogio, where I live, introduced the Office of Vigils into the daily horarium (schedule). Our Abbot President Guillermo is clear that while the curia...read more
Like every large city, Rome has its share of homeless, mentally unwell and beggars among its inhabitants. In the case of Rome this reality is especially evident in the historic center (“Centro Storico,” as they call it here) and at the Vatican. The Centro Storico and...read more
From ages past the city of Rome has been one of the original cultural melting pots of the world. It remains so today with, for example, Nigerian Catholics resident in Rome regularly using the church of Sant’Ambrogio here for their Sunday Mass. Another nearby church,...read more
Impressions of Rome: Church of Santa Maria in Portico in Campitelli The nearby parish church, to which our Subiaco Cassinese Congregation curia technically belongs, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary “In Portico in Campelli.” Despite being close to the bustling Piazza...read more
Impressions of Rome: Falling In Rome What do I mean by “Falling in Rome”? Did I leave out the words “love with,” meaning to say, “Falling in Love with Rome”? No, I mean falling in Rome, as in falling down. What do I mean by that? And are you tired of four sentences...read more
Impressions of Rome: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Each year the Church’s “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” (from January 18 – 25), concludes in Rome on January 25th, Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, with a Vespers service lead by the pope in the...read more
Impressions of Rome: City of Bells As I well recall from living here thirty years ago, from 1985 to 1988, Rome was and is a “City of Bells.” Mostly heard in the morning, at midday and in the evening, especially on Sundays, the city is often “alive” with the pealing of...read more
Impressions of Rome: Earthquakes on the Mind Less than a week in Rome I experienced my first “Roman tremors,” as seismic activity was occurring some ninety miles away. In central Italy’s L’Aquilla region, not far from last year’s destructive quakes, there was an...read more
IMPRESSIONS FROM THE CITY OF ROME: Part One, First Days I arrived in Rome on Friday the 13th of January, 2017, at 8:30 am. To some, “Friday the 13th” is considered an unlucky day, but for me it was an enjoyable and peaceful one. The eight hour non-stop flight from...read more
Readings: Second Book of Samuel 5:1-3; Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians 1:12-20; Gospel According to Saint Luke 23:35-43 In the Liturgical Calendar of the Catholic Church, this Sunday we celebrate the last Sunday of Ordinary Time, dedicated to Christ the King....read more
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