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When In Rome - Cardinal DiNardo's Travel Blog

Photos courtesy of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and/or the USCCB.


Inaugural Mass of the Pontificate

March 19, 2013

Pope Francis is presented with the Finsherman's Ring, which displays the image of the Apostle Peter with the keys, symbolizing papal authority over the Universal Church.


Pope Francis' Coat of Arms

March 18, 2013

Pope Francis' papal coat of arms consits of a shield with a bright blue background, at the centre top of which is a yellow radiant sun with the IHS christogram on it representing Jesus (it is also the Jesuit logo). The IHS monogram, as well as a cross that pierces the H, are in red with three black nails directly under them. Under that, to the left, is a star representing Mary, Mother of Christ and the Church. To the right of the star is a nard flower representing Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. With these symbols the Pope demonstrates his love for the Holy Family.  In the background are the symbols of papal dignity: the papal mitre and crossed silver and gold keys joined by a red cord.

His motto—“miserando atque eligendo” (because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him)—is taken from the Venerable Bede's homily on the Gospel account of the call of Matthew. It holds special meaning for the Pope because—when he was only 17-years-old, after going to confession on the Feast of St. Matthew in 1953—he perceived God's mercy in his life and felt the call to the priesthood, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Greeting the College of Cardinals

March 15, 2013

Pope Francis met with the full College of Cardinals, electors and non-electors, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. As the Holy See Press Office spokesman noted, it was a familial gathering, with the Pope personally greeting each of the cardinals.

Pope Francis Celebrates Mass in the Sistine Chapel

March 14, 2013

Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass as Pope in the Sistine Chapel with the Cardinal electors.


Official Statement from Cardinal DiNardo

March 14, 2013

I rejoice with all the Catholics of the world in the election of Pope Francis. His life as a disciple of Jesus Christ and his service as a Jesuit priest and as Archbishop of the local Church of Buenos Aires have prepared him for his universal pastoral service as successor of St. Peter. His great sense of humility, his eloquent preaching of the Faith and his life of simplicity and dedication to the poor already mark him as a fitting Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Universal Church.

May I also add how privileged I was to participate in the conclave. It was a humbling and enriching experience.

+ Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston 

After the Announcement

March 13, 2013

After the announcement of the papal election, Pope Francis had dinner with the Cardinals at Santa Martha. Then, the American Cardinals returned to the North American College, where they were greeted by the congratulatory applause and cheers of the seminarians and faculty.


Habemus Papam!

March 13, 2013

The crowd of thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square waited breathlessly for almost an hour after the signal of white smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel to learn the name and identity of the new Pontiff. Pope Francis greeted the crowd from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, asking them for their prayers and then giving his first papal blessing to them as well as those watching via television and the various means of media communications.


White Smoke

March 13, 2013

On the second evening of the papal conclave, white smoke emanated from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, indicating that the Catholic Church has a new Pope.


First Vote

March 12, 2013

On the first evening of the conclave, the Cardinals held only one vote. Outside in the square in front of St. Peter's Basilica, a crowd of thousands waited in the rain and cold, anticipatorily hoping to see white smoke emanating from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. Around 8:00 p.m. in Rome, black smoke began to billow from the chimney, indicating an inconclusive vote. A two-thirds majority is needed for the election of a new pope.


Mass for the Election of a New Pope

March 12, 2013


At 10:00 a.m., the Cardinals concelebrate the Mass Pro eligendo Romano Pontifice ("For the Election of a New Pope") at St. Peter's Basilica. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who was the Dean of the College of Cardinals, was the presider and homilist and celebrated the Mass in Latin. The Mass readings and Prayers of the Faithful were read in different languages, including English. The Mass was concelebrated by around 170 Cardinals, of whom only 115 are under the age of 80 years and thus eligible to participate in the conclave.


Leaving for the Conclave

March 12, 2013

On the morning of the conclave, eight of the eleven American Cardinal-Electors gathered for a picture. The United States has the second largest number of Cardinals participating in this conclave.

The Cardinals board their bus, which will take them to Domus Santa Martae, the place where they will reside in Vatican City during the conclave.

As the bus carrying the American Cardinals to Vatican City drive out of the grounds of the North American College, the seminarians express their filial support for the leaders of the Church in the U.S. by their enthusiastic applause and cheers.


A Message from Cardinal DiNardo

March 11, 2013

After almost two weeks in Rome, I am about to enter into the papal conclave. During the conclave, the Cardinal-electors will be staying at Domus Santa Martae. We begin tomorrow morning with a special Mass Pro eligendo Romano Pontifice ("For the Election of a New Pope") at St. Peter's Basilica. The Mass is open to the public and I anticipate a great number of the faithful will be in attendance. In the afternoon, the Cardinals will arrive in procession into the Sistine Chapel, where we will take the Individual Oath and begin the conclave.

I wanted to take this occasion to thank you for your many expressions of support for me and the College of Cardinals during this historic time of transition. Please join me in praying that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church and to grant the College of Cardinals wisdom and humility in their discernment of the next successor to the Chair of St. Peter. Be assured as well of my prayerful remembrance of you and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in the days ahead.

+ Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston


Mass at Sant'Eusebio

March 10, 2013

After a week of formal meetings at Vatican City, the Cardinals were given time to visit their titular church to celebrate Mass on Sunday. A Cardinal is assigned his titular church by the Pope when he is elevated to the College of Cardinals. The tradition of titular churches dates back many centuries, when cardinals were chosen from among the clergy who lived in Rome. Later, when the Holy See began to elevate bishops who lived in dioceses outside of Rome to the College of Cardinals, it continued the tradition of assigning a church in Rome to them. The Cardinals, while they remained in their own dioceses, were thus considered an honorary member of the clergy of Rome. This ancient tradition serves as a symbol of the College of Cardinals' filial bond with the successor of St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome. Cardinal DiNardo is pictured here on his way to his titular church on Sunday morning.

Cardinal DiNardo's titular church is Sant'Eusebio, a small basilica church in Rome named after Saint Eusebius, a martyr in the 4th century. The Parish of St. Eusebius is under the direction of a permanently appointed priest, Fr. Sandro Bonicalzi, who with his staff, manages the daily administrative, sacramental, and ministerial routine of the church. The Cardinals, even though they do not participate in the management of the Church, still share a deep patronal relationship with their titular church. Their names and coats of arms are inscribed on plaques in their church, and they make financial contributions to the church for maintenance and restoration. Pictured is the front of Sant'Eusebio.

Upon his arrival at the Church, Cardinal DiNardo was greeted by a small group of Houston media. Cardinal DiNardo gave a short greeting to the people of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and shared with them his excitement of the upcoming conclave. He is pictured here with Houstonian reporters, including Bill Balleza of Channel 2 News (KPRC-TV), Tom Koch of 13 Eyewitness News (KTRK-TV) and Ron Trevino of KHOU 11 News (KHOU-TV).

Cardinal DiNardo celebrates Mass at Sant'Eusebio. The seminarians and priests of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston are among those serving at the Mass.

Within the Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cardinal DiNardo celebrates the Rite of the Second Scrutiny for the catechumenate who will be entering into the Church during the Easter Vigil at Sant'Eusebio. The Rite is identical to the one celebrated in churches across the United States except this Rite was celebrated in Italian.

After Mass, Cardinal DiNardo was greeted by the parishioners of Sant'Eusebio as well as some people from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston who are in Rome on pilgrimage.

Final Meeting with Pope Benedict XVI

March 6, 2013

These pictures were just released of Pope Benedict XVI from his final meeting with the College of Cardinals on February 28, 2013. Cardinal DiNardo is pictured greeting His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, and expressing his deep appreciation for his love and devotion to the Church during his Pontificate. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)


Radio Interviews

March 5, 2013

Following the press conference, Cardinal DiNardo gives radio interviews with Vatican Radio and The Catholic Channel on Sirius Radio, hosted by Father Jonathan Morris.



USCCB Press Conference

March 5, 2013

On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 5th, Cardinal DiNardo participates in a press conference with Francis Cardinal O'Malley. Many more of the media have arrived in Rome to cover this historical event.



Going to the Meetings

March 5, 2013

In the morning, the American Cardinals gather in the lobby of the North American College and then board the bus that will take them to Vatican City to attend their second day of congregation meetings held in Synod Hall.



Arriving for the General Congregation

March 4, 2013

The Cardinals who have arrived in Rome begin the first day of congregation meetings, which are being held in Synod Hall at the Vatican. Pictured is Cardinal DiNardo walking through the entrance guarded by Swiss Guards. These meetings are confidential so the press is not allowed inside the hall.



March 3, 2013

Cardinal DiNardo spends the afternoon giving media interviews including one with local Houston reporter and anchor, Tom Koch of KTRK-TV (Channel 13), and with John L. Allen, an journalist for the National Catholic Reporter.



BBQ in Rome

March 2, 2013

At the North American College, Cardinal DiNardo takes a break from his meetings and media engagements to join the Texas seminarians and priests who are studying in Rome for a barbeque commemorating Texas Independence Day (the anniversary of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836).



Visit to the Residence of the US Ambassador to the Holy See

March 2, 2013

Visit to Residence of US Ambassador

On Friday evening, the United States Embassy to the Holy See invited the American Cardinals to the residence of the Ambassador. Pictured is Mr. Mario Mesquita, the Chargé d'Affaires, addressing the Cardinals and invited guests, among whom were the American bishops and priests who work at the Vatican. Cardinal DiNardo is pictured standing between Bernard Cardinal Law (left), Archpriest of the Papal Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, and Donald Cardinal Wuerl (right), Archbishop of Washington.

Update from Cardinal DiNardo

March 1, 2013

I arrived in Rome on Wednesday . On Thursday all the cardinals met with the Holy Father on his last day in office. In his brief talk he gave thanks for the collaboration he has had with them. A truly memorable moment for me were his final words in which he pledged his respect and obedience to his Successor.

Each cardinal was able to personally greet the Pope. I spoke and said that we in Texas were grateful to him, especially for his preaching and his homilies, and would pray for him. He thanked me and gave his greetings to all. It was a simple but magnificent time with him.

Most of the Cardinals of the United States are staying at the North American College. We have met once or twice to review some organizational matters on the Conclave. Now that the Roman See is vacant the College of Cardinals as a group administers matters until we set the date for the Conclave. Our first General Congregation (or meeting) is on Monday morning, March 4. Please keep us all in your prayers.

Rome weather has been sunny but cold. Our four seminarians here at the North American College from Galveston-Houston are doing well. You may see them on some local media interviews.

Prayers and blessings!

+ Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

Press Conference

February 28, 2013

On February 28, 2013, Cardinal DiNardo participated in a press conference at the North American College to share with the media their thoughts on the Holy Father's resignation and their meeting with him earlier that morning. Cardinal DiNardo is pictured seated between Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago.


Pope Benedict's Address to the College of Cardinals

February 28, 2013

On his last day as Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI requested to visit and address the College of Cardinals at The Clementine Hall in the Apostolic Palace near St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Pictured are Cardinal DiNardo and Donald Cardinal Wuerl and other U.S. Cardinals as they board their cab at the North American College to go to Clementine Hall.

The text of the address by Pope Benedict XVI to the College of Cardinals may be found here.



North Amercian College

February 27, 2013

In Rome, most of the American Cardinals are staying at The Pontifical North American College (the "NAC") as they await the beginning of the conclave, at which time they will be moving to Santa Marta to stay. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has four seminarians studying Theology at the NAC.


Departing for Rome

February 26, 2013

During his layover at Washington Dulles International Airport, Cardinal DiNardo meets up with Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington, journalist and ABC News commentator Cokie Roberts, and Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, Director of Media Relations for the USCCB.

Evening Prayer with Seminarians

February 25, 2013

The evening before he departed for Rome, Cardinal DiNardo at St. Mary Seminary with seminarians, faculty and staff for Evening Prayer.  He asked the seminarians to keep the Cardinals in their prayers during this historic moment in the life of the Church.  He also asked for prayers for for Pope Benedict XVI.

Mass for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

February 22, 2013

Cardinal DiNardo celebrated Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.  Over 20 priests and deacons, along with Bishop George Sheltz and Bishop Vincent Rizzoto, concelebrated the Mass with the Cardinal.  In his homily, the Cardinal noted the unity that the papacy provides for the Church and expressed his prayers and thanks for Pope Benedict XVI and his service.