Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week - things have been hectic in the parish and I've also been away for my last bit of annual leave (which has been rather split up this year). Thanks to the budget airline industry, I spent a couple of days with some parishioners from my last parish, who have moved to the Tuscan village of Roggio (see picture above), north of Lucca. This is situated in the beautiful Garfagnana area and the surrounding woods are famous for mushrooms and chestnuts. There is a house in the village where, according to local tradition, the future Sixtus V (r.1585-90) was born, though it seems more likely that it was connected in some way to his family (Peretti). Most sources say that he was born in Ancona.

As with all trips to Italy, I got to say Mass in some interesting places: including the tomb of St Gemma Galgani in Lucca;

a wayside shrine in Roggio;

and the village church of St Bartholomew. There is no resident priest and an elderly priest normally has to drive around four villages saying Sunday Masses, so I stepped in to celebrate the Roggio Mass. It was the first time that I have said Mass completely in Italian. About 20% of the village were there - i.e. 30 people!



Blogger Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Many thanks to Father for this post.

Looking at the photos, I am consumed with envy (is that one of the seven deadly sins ? I can't remember.)

I can't remember Loggio, but I knew Lucca quite well many year ago.

I seem to recall learning that it was a city state until it became part of modern Italy in the nineteenth century.

I wonder if you "did" the Duomo and the Basilica of San Michele.

I've often found that looking at other peoples' holiday photos can be a bit heavy going, so to speak.

But not these photos.
By far the most moving is the photo of the priest celebrating at the wayside shrine.

Thank you very much for sharing these moments with us.

I hope you enjoyed your brief holiday.

1:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the elderly priest by chance named Aldo Petrini?

5:19 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Thanks, Dr Wright. Yes, I 'did' the sights of Lucca and especially enjoyed revisited San Frediano, named after an Irish bishop and containing the shrine of an English saint, Richard of Wessex.

Anon - I think the priest was called Alfonso or Giancarlo...

5:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're very cosmopolitan Fr & you do get about..perhaps you could take me to hold an umbrella shading you from the sun! Much more to my liking than the rain!

6:42 pm  
Anonymous Belloc said...


First time all in Italian?

For shame! ;^)

English priest, Italian congregation, why, that's an "international gathering" if ever there was one. Article 62 of Sacramentum Caritatis surely applies!

"I am thinking here particularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency. The most should be made of these occasions. In order to express more clearly the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in LATIN."

6:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I checked your blog, but no one was home. Then, I was surprised to see the new post (one side of my family is from Lucca). I hope you had a pleasant holiday. --Giovanni

3:28 am  
Blogger Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Thank you, Father, for stirring up further memories.
I remember San Frediano.

(In my student days, we rather irreverently referred to it as Saint Fred's.
Some young people have no respect.)

I'm not altogether sure sure I ever really liked the facade.
But I do remember there was rather a nice trattoria nearby.
Now I'm giving myself away as a cultural moron.

Hope you weren't overwhelmed by tourists.
At this time of year, it should have been fairly quiet.
Welcome back to our English autumn.

(I still can't remember Roggio.)


5:30 pm  

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