History, laundry and the novelty of being a novelty

More from Brendan Johnson’s Rome Experience journal on June 4, 2010:

Today was a relatively easy day: classes in the morning, with Fr. Heisler finishing up his sketch of Church history and the importance of Rome and Vatican II. The end was particularly interesting, and covered the importance of Vatican II and its mode of addressing the world, not simply via decrees and canons, but instead calling the people to holiness in a radical way that calls for a deep faith and conversion.

The afternoon was free because Fr. Cassian was unable to come to give us another talk on the liturgy, which was a disappointment, but it gave a free afternoon. So I was able to finish some laundry and walk around town a little bit, which is incredibly quaint and beautiful –- so it’s a joy to have some extra time to stroll.

After dinner a group of us went down into the town to have a gelato and talk for a while. It was a lot of fun and showed us yet again what a sight we are, even in Italy. Two women stood about 10 feet from where we were eating our gelato outside the café and stared at us for about two or three minutes. It has been baffling to me, and somewhat sad, how much of a novelty we are as we move about in our clerics –- but at the same time it is good for them to see us out and about and happy!

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