People from all over the world are converging on Rome, the Eternal City. Many are here for the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Sunday. Some our tourists who will soon be wondering what all the activity is about around the Vatican. And quite a few pilgrims have gathered to witness the elevation of 17 new members of the College of Cardinals. The flight that I was on arrived safely in Rome this morning, and I have seen a number of other people from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and beyond who are here to support Cardinal-designate Joseph Tobin, CSsR. Between the Consistory, the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and just the general feel of Rome – this is a city filled with joy and energy.

After arriving in Rome this morning, my travel companions – Fr. Pat Beidelman and Fr. Joe Newton – and I had to pick up a final piece of vesture for Archbishop Tobin and deliver it to him. Some people wonder where Cardinals and other church leaders get their vestments and clothes – and for the highest-ranking prelates, they most often come from a generations-old, family-run store called Gammarelli’s. Pictured below is the front window of the store, featuring some of the types of vestments to be worn by the new Cardinals.


We also had a chance to meet and visit briefly with Archbishop Tobin’s mother and several of his family members who are among those gathering in Rome for the celebrations. Tonight, we hope to get a good night’s rest before the highlight of our time here in Rome – the Consistory to create new Cardinals, which will be held in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday morning at 11 am Rome time (5 am on the east coast of the United States).

To understand a bit more about what Cardinals undertake in their new office, here is the text of the promise that each of them will make tomorrow in the presence of the successor of St. Peter:

I, N., Cardinal of Holy Roman Church, promise and swear, from this day forth and as long as I live, to remain faithful to Christ and his Gospel, constantly obedient to the Holy Apostolic Roman Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff, become members of the Roman clergy and cooperate more directly in Francis and his canonically elected successors, always to remain in communion with the Catholic Church in my words and actions, not to make known to anyone matters entrusted to me in confidence, the disclosure of which could be damage or dishonour to Holy Church, to carry out diligently and faithfully the duties to which I am called in my service to the Church, according to the norms laid down by law. So help me almighty God.