Packing for the Eternal City

| | Comments (10)


My dear friends Christopher and Lisa Hoffer–Schaefer and Nadine Casey spent their New Year's Day afternoon and evening helping me pack. I would never have been able to do it alone. We had great fun doing it. That is Chris with the roll of packing tape.


The ladies, with characteristic efficiency, were amazing. Nadine prepared address labels for shipping. There are three boxes of books ready to be sent to Rome. The suitcases and carry–on bags are ready. This has never been known to happen in my life. I usually pack in a mad frenzy on the eve of my departure. Lisa, seen above, is the Queen of Get–It–Done.


Nadine (above) appears to be working contemplatively. After a few hours of packing, Christopher and Lisa produced a splendid New Year's supper of salad, chicken, and shrimp. And, of course, there was the obligatory bottle of Prosecco. I thank God for the good friends He has given me.


God speed on your journey, Father Kirby.

Dear Father Kirby,
You are in my prayers. Thank you for so much inspirational uplift. Looking forward to Epiphany.

Father Mark, O.Cist.,
I wish you were staying in the US, I'll miss you very much.
My prayers are with you.
Asking your blessing,

Godspeed you on your way - blessings and i will look forward to your next entry (new reader, am so pleased i found you!)

Lisa and Nadine, I thought you would comment! A heartfelt thank you from Dublin International Airport to the two of you and to Chris for the priceless help you gave me on New Year's Day.

Father Mark,
I expect you are safely in Rome by now!
It was great fun helping you to pack and prepare for your trip.
I'm keeping you in my prayers...please keep us all in yours.

+Dear Father,
I was checking in to see if you had a first post from Rome for the Epiphany of the Lord...I hope the trip went well and that the travel did not have any adverse affect on you-spirit, soul, or body! I was happy to "meet" some of your friends in these photos and to catch a glimpse of 33D School Street. You are in my daily prayers. Hope to see a post soon! With love and in prayerful communion.

Fr. Mark contacted us by phone to assure us that he arrived safely, being able to bring the icon of our Lady all the way through to Rome. He is settled into his cell and has already begun life at the monastery by giving a chant lesson to his fellow monks for Epiphany. I hope this reassures everyone who has prayed for his safe trip. When internet becomes available to him, he will be continuing his posts which we all look forward to reading.

Thank you. God be praised.

Dear friends, I thank Lisa for giving you news of my arrival in Rome. I do not have internet access as yet and so have to write to you in the Comments section. The technician is supposed to be coming today to set things up.

I have been given a different cell: this one is enormous: my apartment in Hamden could easily fit into it twice. The ceilings are at least twelve feet high. Right outside my door is a lovely sculptured shrine of the Madonna of the Rosary of Pompei. That, of course, made me very happy. My cell is at least 1/4 mile from the refectory - well, perhaps I am exaggerating a bit, but not much. It is very, very far. The abbey is huge and the distances require that one leave for every exercise well in advance.

I thank you all for your prayers. Although I arrived with a sore throat and a ear ache, I quickly recovered and have been sleeping well. Twice a day in the refectory there are fresh greens from the garden: surely that helps! Soon I will be able to resume writing on Vultus Christi and I will have much to share.

As of this evening I have the 6:00 p.m. Mass in the basilica. The Mass assignments change each week and a read out in the refectory on Saturday evening.

Leave a comment

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory