Wednesday, 5 September
Optional trip to Monte Cassino
The trip to Monte Cassino was optional—the delegates were not able to join us as they were busy with Conference meetings.
We assembled smartly at the gate, after dire warnings from Bobbi that if we were late we would be left behind, and headed down the hill to the coach. Soon we were leaving Rome behind and traveling down the motorway to Monte Cassino, praying Lauds on the coach.
We could see the monastery perched high on top of the hill, and as our coach navigated the many hairpin bends on the road up to the monastery, we were able to look down on Cassino and the surrounding countryside.
Fr Pachomius from Nigeria was with us and we celebrated Mass in a chapel near the sacristy. This was followed by an extensive guided tour—including an opportunity for some of us to try out the rock that became soft when Saint Benedict fell on it!
After we had eaten our sandwiches, there was an opportunity to visit the museum, which included a special display of the role of the monastery in WW2, then was time to pray at the shrine of Saint Benedict in the splendid church, time to admire the view . . . time to sit down!
Soon it was time to leave and at 3 pm we assembled back at the coach and headed back to San’ Anselmo, praying Vespers on the coach.
photos of the trip to Monte Cassino (Flickr)
drive up to the monastery, part 1 (mp4)