Thursday, November 20, 2014


I don't pay much attention to what's going on in the Vatican but I'm a huge Pope Francis fan. And I did note with approval when a couple of months ago he made the mild and eminently common-sense observation that if we are calling folks of same-sex attraction (along with all us single Catholics), out of ardent love for Christ) to celibacy, we will of course want to embrace them with open arms, invite all to the table, and recognize  generosity, creativity, and nobility of spirit wherEVER it appears in the human heart!

Well that is beautiful I thought. Then, by chance, I glanced at my FB newsfeed one night and saw the appalling reaction of several folks who you would have thought had just been ordered to round up their first-borns and slay them.

How OLD are you? I thought. And when was the last time you left your gated compound?

Anyway soon afterward I somehow got wind of the fact that next October the Church is going to hold a synod on the family in Rome. I was in Rome once: probably forty years ago, when I was still drinking.

And suddenly the thought arose: Maybe it's time to go again

Mosey on over, wander (but with a purpose) about to churches, mingle, eat, fast, pray.

Pray for the Church, our Mother, and all of us in it, and all people everywhere. Our hearts, our wounds, Pray for the reconciliation of the wound between men and women that I am ever more convinced is at the heart of all poverty, all war, the degradation of the earth's resources

That includes of course my own wound.

I am perfectly capable of and willing to go the airbnb route, or just rent a little room somewhere. I am always happiest and most comfortable creeping about incognito and alone.

But then I thought well maybe I could participate a bit in some way not of my own choosing. For that is one very sure way to get out of my own "gated community"--and we are always but always called to leave our gated communities.

I'm also continually astonished at the "magic" of my blog. Folks emerge from the woodwork to say they've been following it for years.

So I'm going to throw it out there, just on the off chance anyone knows of or has a suggestion of a spot--a room in some tucked-way convent, a horse stall--I might make headquarters for a week. Wifi, a coffee machine, and within walking distance of St Paul's Church on the Via Napoli and/or St. Andrew's, Via XX Settembre 7 and I'd be good to go.

Thank you!



  1. What a mouthful, Heather: "Pray for the reconciliation of the wound between men and women that I am ever more convinced is at the heart of all poverty, all war, the degradation of the earth's resources." I am making some progress on my book, which you consulted me on. In it I am daring to include the part (as far as it has happened) on the healing of my identity in relationship to God, self, same sex and opposite sex. It's scary to put it in black and white, but I'm learning as I go, and even surprising myself at what comes out of my mouth as I dictate (using voice to text technology, with lots of corrections). I sincerely hope you DO go to Rome next year! (what a wonderful place to pray for the healing of this deep wound in the Bride of Christ) Sorry, I don't know any helpful tips, never having been there.

  2. Thanks so much for all the feedback, folks, all of which was very helpful. And all of which helped me to firm up my plans and zero in on how I want to "be" in Rome. I've decided on a third-floor private studio on the Campo di Fiori, realizing all over again that I do best in silence and solitude. And that I'll especially want silence and solitude on my pilgrimage to Rome! I also very much appreciate your prayers.

  3. Will be praying for you. The same-sex issue hits home as our oldest daughter is gay and has just married her partner in a civil ceremony in North Carolina. While I am encouraged by the language used by the Pope, she is not and continues to feel wounded by Holy Mother Church. Anyway, please go to Rome (we were all there as a family when the aforementioned daughter was 14 and JPII was at the Vatican.) and pray for all of us walking wounded. I will do the same.


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