From my brother, Father Stephen Boyle:
In the October half term a group of 43 pilgrims made up of altar servers and parents led by Fr. Stephen Boyle, the chaplain of the guild of St. Stephen, went on the annual three day visit to Rome.
On the Wednesday the group saw the Holy Father who many had only recently seen in Hyde Park. It was very moving for all to see Pope Benedict so refreshed after his visit to England and Scotland, and to get so close to him.
The first Mass of the trip was celebrated in the splendid Martyrs Chapel in the Venerable English College. Mgr Hudson, the Rector, gave a guided tour of the tribune where paintings give a potted history of English Catholicism, up to and including the martyrdom of former alumni.
On the Thursday Mass was fittingly celebrated on the tomb of St. Pius X, who was instrumental in letting younger children receive communion. The morning also included praying at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.
Foodwise, general distrust of pasta was for the most part overcome by real “cucina romana”, and nothing beat an Italian ice cream as a third course.