A trip worthy of a song: Archdiocesan Choir performs during pilgrimage around Italy

September 13, 2022

During their Italian pilgrimage, the Archdiocesan Choir performed in a number of sacred spaces in Rome and the Vatican, including The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola near the Pantheon. (Photos courtesy of the Archdiocesan Choir)


ROME — After a two-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Archdiocesan Choir pilgrimage to Italy, including Vatican City, finally took place over the summer. The choir took a panoramic tour of Rome.

The first performance was the Solemn Mass at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter’s, celebrated by Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., an American originally from New York, now adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was followed by performances at the Church of St. Ignatius and the Basilica of St. Francis.

On June 29, the group visited St. Peter’s Square to attend the Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, celebrated by Pope Francis. They also toured the Papal Basilicas of Rome and the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s “Pieta.”   The choir also visited Assisi, situated on a mountaintop with narrow lanes and basilicas. Much of the beautiful art in Assisi is dedicated to its young friar St. Francis, a rich young man who turned to God after an illness and established an order that has grown stronger over the centuries.

The choir arrived and performed for Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis. After Mass, their local guide took the group on a tour of the basilica complex, which is composed of two churches built one atop the other. Beneath both churches is the crypt that houses the tomb of St. Francis. After lunch, the choir visited the Basilica of St. Clare, the first and most important heroine of the Franciscan movement.

The group later went to Florence, where they visited the Academia Gallery, which holds “David” by Michelangelo. Their travels followed to Padua, visiting the Basilica of St. Anthony with its famous Chapel of the Relics, which contains the actual tongue and lower jawbone of the Saint.

That morning, the choir group was transferred to the pier for a boat transfer to the famous St. Mark’s Square to explore the Adriatic Coast. The choir members marveled at like a giant maze, with its tiny alleys and hidden piazzas linked by narrow footbridges over the many large and small canals.

The choir members also commented on the magnificent Basilica San Marco, where the mixture of styles — Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic — and profuse decoration reflect Venice’s rich history.

The group ended their trip in a Gondola.