Aihearkisto: Kirkko

Pikainen päivitys…

Pikainen päivitys tekemisistäni tässä vaiheessa. Englannin-matkan jälkeen koulu on vienyt mennessään ja joulukuun 16. päivään asti kalenteri on lähestulkoon täpötäysi. Sen täyttävät pääasiassa seuraavat jutut:

1) Viikin norssissa koulutuntien seuraaminen (ja yhden opettaminen) osana perusharjoitteluani pedagogisissa opinnoissa…
2) Pedagogiikkaan liittyvät luennot ja seminaaritapaamiset Siltavuorenpenkereellä yliopistolla… Seminaariryhmääni johtaa stenrothilainen Eero Salmenkivi ja aiheenani tulee olemaan luterilaisten uskonnonoppikirjojen esitys katolisesta kirkosta.
3) Käynnit Tampereella konfirmaatio-opetuksen, nuortenryhmän, sukulais- ja ystävävisiittien johdosta
4) Äidinkielen opintojen ja venäjän opintojen itseopiskelu pakollisina osina kanditutkintoani, joka on viittä vaille valmis…
5) Kahteen pedagogiikan tenttiin lukeminen
6) Paavali-projektin jatkaminen eri tavoilla mm. esitelmien valmistaminen, maailman johtavien P-tutkijoiden töihin tutustuminen, erityisesti narratiiviseen teologiaan perehtyminen – narratiivinen menetelmä saattaa olla metodinani myös em. seminaarityössä.
7) Erilaiset pikkujoulut/joulukonsertit
8) + pitäisi ehtiä tavata joitain ystäviä ja perhettä/sukua siinä välissä ihan tavallisesti…
9) + 1) oratio, 2) mortificatio, 3) actio.
10) + tavallinen mutta samalla niin epätavallinen ja erityinen hartauselämä eli messut yms.

England 31.10-2.11.2008

Another trip, yes indeed, this time to England again…:) And what a weekend it was! I flew to London with my friend John. We stayed at Ewan and Heini’s place. It took a while to remember how to get there but we found the place and a key was waiting for us. We stayed home to plan the day and soon the family was home too. We had lunch and talked with them for a moment before going downtown to see some sights like Big Ben and Westminister Abbey (still didn’t go inside, I have yet to trod on Darwin…) and Marble Arch&Hyde Park (photo below).


We walked to Orme Court to the Opus Dei headquarters to meet my old friend uncle Jack, i.e. the famous Jack Valero. Together we took the tube to Finchley where we met Ewan to go to Netherhall House, an Opus Dei residence. We met Peter Brown and others. We went to the nearby Opus Dei parish as well (photo below) where we met fr. Gerard and fr. Joe.


The main reason for the trip was Scott Hahn’s visit to England. Scott Hahn of course is one of the best Catholic theologians and apologists in the world and the object (or subject:) of my seminaarityö (sort of comparable to a Bachelor’s Thesis) last year at the university. He was going to give a lecture in London and participate in a theological conference in Oxford. I had reserved a ticket for Saturday evening but the event was sold out by the time John wanted to go. We tried to phone the organizer from Orme Court but they gave a negative answer. But how good it is to know the right people like Jack Valero! And to have a Father who likes to provide. Fr. Gerard had an extra ticket and he gave it to John at the last moment! And so after a visit to the local Subway (photo below, Jack on the left)we got to see Scott Hahn (photos below, what a good continuation to meeting R. Sungenis):




After the amazing lecture all were excited and went out somewhere. Jack, John and I went to a pub to have a traditional English pint! Finally got to do what I didn’t do last time! The next morning we headed towards Oxford. It took us way too long to find the bus and to get there but at least we were there in time to register and to visit the most important sight (for us) – the pub where the Inklings i.e. C.S.Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and others met regularly to discuss their writings etc. John ordered a traditional English fish&chips and I read Some Thoughts by C.S. Lewis out loud (not too loud though).


Before the conference started I got another chance to say a couple of words to Scott Hahn and give him something. Later I bought the only one of his major books that wasn’t yet in my bookshelf (Spirit and Letter) and got it signed. As you can see the queue to see him was rather lengthy so there was no chance for extended conversations. In the photo below Hahn is on the left and the rest is the queue.


After the talks there was a panel discussion where I got to ask a question to Dr. Hahn. He gave an impressive 6-minute answer to a very confused/confusing 1-minute long questions in which I combined several questions because the rule was one question per person. If you’re on Facebook the recording is there in my videos. After the conference it was raining cats and dogs (on Friday the weather in London had been perfect which greatly delighted us!) and so we arrived wet to the nearby Opus Dei centre for a meditation. For John this was all special because he had joined the Church 2 weeks earlier and been in touch with Opus Dei in Finland but never seen a centre in another country, and now suddenly he saw 3 in 2 days. After the meditation we had dinner and a get-together before taking the bus back to London together with Jack. On the bus J&J listened to some catchy music:)


On Sunday morning we made our way to Westminister Cathedral to All Saints’ Day’s Mass. The priest gave an interesting homily pointing out the irony in Halloween: now dead and horrible monsters are scaring people, while originally the point is that on this saints’ day the terrible dark powers of death tremble and run around trying to escape the frightening force of the shining light of the saints on this day when the Church honours them all.


After the Mass in this beautiful big Church we took the tube to Heathrow and eventually flew home. All went well and John’s parents came to fetch us. I just wanna say THANKS to them and to John and to all who were involved in making the weekend into what it was. THANKS.

The Catholic family in practice

Today I listened to what I’ve known intuitively for some time. This is what Christian marriage is about in its full depth. Now I know there are actually some families that truly believe it, live it out and talk about it; that it’s really possible and that it’s as rewarding as I had thought it’d have to be. Please watch these 3 10-minute videos (at least the first one!) and voice your opinion in the poll below!

Estonia 2.-3.10.2008

After Romania I had 3 days in Finland and then I was on my way again, this time to Estonia. My friend Varro and his friends were organising an annual cultural festival called Trialogos for the ninth time now and it was high time for me and my friend Jason to go! Although the timing was bad in that we had a full week at the university I managed to skip some courses (for which I’ll have to do the impossible and read more books in 0 time for upcoming exams) and be there for 2 days.

We traveled on Viking Line which was quite nice, had a snack and a good conversation first with each other and then with a weird guy. On the way back home we were already so much at home in the boat that Jason really took it easy and made himself comfortable while eating all of my orange chocolate and watching the impressive views of the Baltic pond.

In Tallinn we got to stay at Varro’s place, a very homely (in the English sense, not the American:D) apartment, neat, big, nice, beautiful, but according to Varro, ASCETIC! Anyway we had home made buns and pancakes for breakfast and a delicious dinner in candlelight (just one ordinary candle though, no romantic stuff don’t get me wrong!:D) and all… Our thanks to Varro’s family! Below you see Varro and me first and then Varro’s brother Mihkel (whom I had run into in Loreto) with Jason at the dinner.

Then to the conference. There were some top speakers mostly from the US speaking on a variety of topics related to the East and the West, Science and Religion, Past and Present… There were mostly traditional Catholic and Orthodox representatives although the Orthodox sort of did their job and then vanished from the scene. I and Jason got lucky twice, Varro arranged for us to go have lunch together with the speakers! The restaurant and the food was excellent.

In regards to the contents specifically, two most interesting new acquaintances were Jeffrey Langan and James Larson, both from the US and both in the picture below (Larson talking on Palamitism, one of the big topics there).

On Friday there was an interesting exchange on Science. Robert Sungenis and David Berlinski, coming from totally different backgrounds (Catholic & agnostic/skeptic) mounted a forceful critique of contemporary science (and sometimes of each other). Below Sungenis taking notes while Berlinski is speaking.

I guess my major motivation to go to the event was to hear and meet Robert Sungenis in person. If you clicked on his name above you probably know why already. His apologetics website is at I have read his Not by Faith Alone (around 700 pages) and got a dedication&signature for it:) In addition to two lunches, we had beer together with him and Langan, and took a walk and an espresso (well, Jason did) with him on the last day. Oh and we went to the Tridentine Mass as well. It was a special and exciting experience for me and we got to talk a lot.

We also got an invitation to drop in for a cup of coffee in Pennsylvania some day:) I hope we can go see ”number ten” (he’s got 9 kids so far!:) some day. This meeting made up for the failed plan to meet Karl Keating in Finand in August. Now that the ice is broken, though, I hope to be able to meet Scott Hahn in London on October 31st, or at least to see and hear him. Yes, another trip. London is next, again. It’ll be nice to see the Kings again.

Romania 26.-28.9.2008

Finally something to write about – and yes, it’s another trip abroad:) I was in Romania last weekend and it was my first time in the country. The reason for going was a meeting similar to the one in Holland earlier this year. This time I didn’t go alone, fr. Manuel Prado went as well and we had a great time together representing CSC. The meeting was bigger, too, with almost a hundred participants from several European countries. I counted I spoke 19 languages during the weekend (a few of them of course limited only to one or two sentences).

Our accommodation was in Snagov outside Bucharest. It was a Carmel in the middle of fields. It was still under construction but I had no complaints – quite an ideal place for such a conference. Obviously I met a lot of wonderful people and made friends. In the above photo you see fr. Manuel with one of those people, Jean-Baptiste from France. He was from the Emmanuel community whose beautiful and joyous songs we got to enjoy during the first Mass Friday evening, in Romanian:) J-B impressed me with his cheerfulness and apostolic zeal. We immediately realized we were soulmates:)

Above you see me and msgr. Leuzzi, the main organizer, in front of the fields. Below two fantastic people – a Neocatechumenal professor of linguistics from Rome with whom I discussed etymology, theology and ancient languages a lot together with a Lebanese Maronite priest from Cyprus. He spoke Greek, Arabic, Italian and English. I have an invitation to go to Cyprus and visit Libanon with him, and I hope we can organise a group of Arabs to finance tickets for him so that he could visit Finland and say the Maronite liturgy in Aramaic in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere. Contact me if you’re interested in helping with this project.

And here below is the whole group. In the middle His Excellency Everard De Jong, Auxiliary Bishop of Roermond and my good friend whom I sincerely hope to have here in Finland as our next Bishop. Actually there have been such rumors in Holland but it’s not sure at all. God grant us a holy, wise, humble, generous, youthful, charismatic and orthodox Bishop with such a good sense of humour (+experience as a Bishop and a sincere willingness to learn the new language)!

Well we did do some sightseeing as well! Here is the second biggest building in the world (after the Pentagon), Ciaucescu’s palace with like a thousand rooms and tons of marble. Notice in front the mess with the wires or whatever the electric lines are called that the Romanians aren’t able to hide or keep neat for some reason. We saw 4 rooms in the palace + the toilets which were also made of marble.

Then we went to this outdoor museum that resembles Seurasaari in Helsinki a bit. After a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe with my Southern Italian friends (with whom I got to speak Neapolitan, of course:D) we did some extreme duudsonit stuff with the Irish delegate. I asked him if he knows the Larkins and he said he didn’t until I mentioned Andrew’s first name and then suddenly he did. Last time it was the opposite when I asked Andrew’s brother David if he knows an Andrew – he didn’t know until the surname came to light. There’s something wrong with this Irish people. They’re all the same and they all know each other after thinking they don’t.

Finally we visited the Cathedral and had a fabulous dinner with the local Bishop. There is a weird scandal related to the Cathedral though that is worth mentioning. They’re building a huuuuuge hotel right next to the church to make it look small and insignificant. There is a protest movement of Catholics rebelling, of course. Here is what it looks like.

We took part in the Sunday Mass with the congregation, mostly in Romanian, and it was a wonderful experience. There were the Missionaries of Charity there too. And it’s interesting to see how ”Orthodox” the Mass looks like in an Orthodox country, whereas in Finland it looks quite Lutheran. And of the beautiful Romanian language which by the way I studied intensively on the way there through Budapest. After reading over 100 pages in a textbook I could already communicate the basics. Fell in love with the language! Below the 4 Bishops from Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Holland from the Sunday Mass in the Cathedral. Pray the one on the right will soon be here with us:)

Toivakka-Laukaa-Jyväskylä 25.-27.7.2008

Viime viikonloppuna olin enolassa Toivakassa. Matkustin perjantaina serkkuni Arin autolla, mukana myös Piia-vaimo ja Mikko-veli eli siis toinen serkku. Saavuimme Arja Korisevan kotikuntaan illalla maailman parhaille pizzoille, minkä jälkeen oli perinteinen sioux-sauna päänpukkauksineen (jonka voitin ekaa kertaa elämässäni:) ja saunalauluineen (Ihanimmat, armahimmat!). Valvoimme ja juttelimme kummitussetäni Timon kanssa kolmeen yöllä kaikenlaisia. Näin myös ekaa kertaa Helenan kuuluisat alpakat. Vihdoin joku, jolla on vielä paljon pitempi kaula kuin minulla:D

Lauantaina lähdimme Timon ja Helenan kanssa Laukaaseen periluterilaisiin pihaseuroihin. Tässä kesäseuralaisia…

ja kuuluisan uimahyppääjä-Puhakan isä saarnaaja-Puhakka julistamassa Sanaa voimallisesti:D Hänellä on vaikuttava villasukkalähetys Venäjän vankiloissa, Kansan Raamattuseuran kautta saanee lisätietoja.

Lopuksi tarjolla oli pullaa, teetä, mehua, kahvia ja makkaraa. Kaunis järvi ja nuotio keskellä ei-mitään (paikalle mentiin monia pieniä ja pitkiä metsäteitä, kaukana kaikesta muusta elämästä ja sivistyksestä, kaupunkilaisen painajainen:D)

Seurojen jälkeen ajoimme Laukaan hautausmaalle, jossa sain ensimmäisen kerran käydä minulle isoäitini kautta hyvin tärkeiden sukulaisten haudoilla. Isoäitini Salmen pikkuveli Raimo kuoli sairauteen 3-vuotiaana viimeisinä kuolinvuoteella lausuttuina sanoinaan ”Portti on auki.” Hänen kuolemansa on isoäitini varhaisimpia ja vaikuttavimpia muistoja. Isoäidin eno Armas Salmenkivi asui Laukaan pappilassa kirkkoherrana samoin kuin isoäidin isoisä Osvald Stenroth, jonka v. 1928 kääntämä teos ”Apostolisten isien kirjat” minulla on tällä hetkellä oikealla puolellani teologisia kirjoituksia varten. Hänen vaimonsa Ninni taas oli isoäitini lapsuudessa äärimmäisen tärkeä henkilö ja olen kuullut hänestä tarinoita koko ikäni. Hänestä on vaikuttava luku isoenoni emerituspiispa Yrjö Sariolan kirjassa Polun kulkijat.

Ja sitten kuuluisa Koivukuja, josta on myös kuultu useampaan otteeseen, sekin on vielä…

Laukaan pappilassa isoäitini vietti lapsuuskesänsä mummin ja vaarin luona. Pappila paloi vuonna 1950 mutta vanha Väentupa on edelleen entisensä, ja siellä isoäitinikin perhe vietti yhden kesän. Äitini ansiosta saimme printattua vastaavan kuvan hänelle lahjaksi ja hän oli siitä hyvin otettu.

Uusi pappila vanhan paikalla ja sen edessä Timo superkamerallaan kuvasotaa leikkimässä ja Helena.

La-iltana kirjoitin puoleenyöhön asti Paavali-kirjaa. Sunnuntaina menin bussilla Jyväskylään kirkkoon ja tapasin ystäväni Justynan ja Farhadin. Näin myös isoäitini ensimmäisen lapsuudenkodin paikan Väinönkadulla.

Palasin Toivakkaan Arin ja Piian kanssa, he olivat olleet ystävien 30-v synttäreillä. Toivakassa otimme tietysti vanhaan tapaan Ilta-Sanomien kymmenen kysymystä eli iltikset tai kyssärit. Timo vanhana tekijänä kysyjänä ja tuomarina.


Autuaan Hemmingin pyhiinvaellus Helsinki-Turku 28.6.-5.7.2008

Lauantaina 28.6. aamulla alkoi toinen suuren luokan katolinen pyhiinvaellus Suomessa reformaation jälkeen kohti Turkua, autuaan piispa Hemmingin piispanistuimen ja pyhäinjäännössäiliön paikkaa keskiaikaista kuninkaantietä pitkin (ainakin suureksi osaksi). Lähtö oli Helsingin pyhän Marian kirkolta ja mukana oli tuplasti enemmän ihmisiä kuin viime vuonna, joten jos sama tahti jatkuu niin hyvä tulee:) Ristiä kantamassa Massimo, joka liittyi seuraan ensimmäisen kahden tunnin ajaksi. Viime vuonna hän suoritti viimeiset 20 km, joten alku ja loppu hanskassa, ens vuonna sitten keskiosa:) Italia-style.

Alla toisen päivän alussa kävelemässä Kirkkonummelta. Mukana messun juuri viettänyt isä Rafal SCJ, joka on saapunut Helsinkiin Jyväskylästä. Hänen kanssaan alkavat myös katoliset nuortenillat syksyllä. Hän kantaa Johannes Paavali II:n Suomen katoliselle nuorisolle vuonna 1989 lahjoittamaa ristiä. Muut vaeltajat vasemmalta Laura Englannista, Juho Suomesta, Eze Nigeriasta, Lydia Filippiineiltä, Ola Puolasta, Sana-lehden kesätoimittaja Ilkka (vain päivän mukana) ja Kinga Puolasta (alun ja lopun mukana).

On the way we saw all kinds of interesting things, including animals such as horses, sheep and a goat. We also smelled pigs. I hope we didn’t smell like pigs, though, although we couldn’t take a shower each day. The accommodations varied, we slept on floors as well as royal (well if not royal at least priestly:) beds. The accommodations were kindly provided by Lutheran parishes on the way. Watch out for sleeping pilgrims!

The weather was mostly good but it varied. In the picture below you can see a strange combination of sunshine and rain – yes, it was sunny and rainy at the same time! Once we got a huge shower from the clouds after a night without a real shower at the accommodation, we were soaked. The last day, which was the longest, 37km, was extremely hot, and due to the fields and lack of forests in that area there was no shadow of shade;) Once I caught a rainbow as well but no treasure was found except perhaps the 20 zlotys Juho found in the middle of nowhere which Ola reacted to with a now famous ”ale jaja, prawdziwe” :D

In Inkoo/Ingå Ola and I found a café in the evening, the one and only one open and suitable for our purposes, i.e. to watch the European football final Spain-Germany, or at least a part of it. I was wearing a Spain t-shirt and since Ola too knew Spanish we were speaking Spanish all the time and having a lot of fun having others smile at us and think we were Spaniards:D We had tikkunekku and celebrated big time when Spain scored 1-0 which was also the final result (we left after the first half).

One of the best things was that the churches on the way were mostly medieval stone churches. That is, they were ”ex-Catholic” and so we felt very much at home celebrating the Mass there in the mornings whenever a priest was able to come. Here Fr. Frans is saying Mass in Karjaa/Karis. In the following photo you can see Pope Gregory the Great on the wall of a presently Lutheran church in Perniö, which is quite nice:) The third photo is from Tenhola/Tenala, where we possibly said the first Catholic Mass after the Reformation.

Then it’s time for the best joke of the pilgrimage. It dates back to last year when Joakim Snygg from Sweden was with us. We walked past a village called Persböle which in Swedish is simply Petersborough but in Finnish it’s very funny, well, basically, Arsborough:D Anyways this year the joke got even funnier because Lydia said I left my brain in Persböle – pronouncing it funnily as [persball]. Well after this Eze made a perfect imitation of Lydia after which everyone was imitating it and at the end we even played a puppet show about it in Halikko. Anyway here it is, and pay attention to the wonderful northern neighbour of Persböle.

We also appeared on the front cover of the local newspaper Västra Nyland – or actually Ola and the Cross appeared on the front cover and the rest of us in the nice lengthy article on our pilgrimage. Last year we appeared in Perniö’s local paper and Seura, this year in Sana and Västra Nyland. I wonder which two papers will be after us next year. Anyways here’s a photo of the article.

Sitten on aika käsitellä suurinta saavutustamme, tai no, ainakin uhkarohkeinta hullutustamme. Viime vuonna tämä maailman lahoin silta vei pidemmän korren, kun heitin metallikimpaleen sen päälle testatakseni sen pitävyyttä, ja metallikimpale putosi suoraan sillan läpi. Tällä kertaa halusimme aluksi vain mennä katsomaan siltaa ja kuvaamaan sitä, mutta sitten yllytyshulluus iski. Silta pitikin heittämiäni kiviä ja muutamia askelia, jolloin ensimmäinen ylitti sillan ainoaa pitkää tukevaa lankkua pitkin. Tämän jälkeen Eze iski jalkansa lahoon kohtaan ja oli vaarassa pudota, mutta selvisi pienellä haavalla. Lopulta kaikki pääsivät yli.

Matkan varrella oli myös paljon paljon paljon mansikoita, joista erityisesti Ola piti hyvin hyvin hyvin paljon. Hän jäi usein keräilemään niitä vaellusjoukon taakse ja otti meidät sitten ripeästi kiinni. Myös kaikenlaisia kukkia oli matkan varrella, ja Juho tietysti valisti vähemmän asiaan perehtyneitä niiden nimistä ja ominaisuuksista. Jotkut kukat päätyivät vaeltajien korvienkin taakse.

Pysähdyspaikat matkan varrella olivat usein myös vaikuttavia. Latokartanon koski ja rauniot olivat ehkä kaikista hienoimmat. Koskessa sai hyvän jalkahieronnan. Kiviä pitkin oli jännittävää hypellä ja kiipeillä. Pysähdyksemme kestivät kymmenestä minuutista pariin tuntiin, yleensä päivää kohti oli kaksi kunnollisempaa pysähdystä. Kaupoista ostettiin eväitä ja ne jaettiin kristillisesti. Joskus ruokaa oli vähän liikaakin. Suuret matkalaukut vietiin autokyydillä seuraavaan majapaikkaan, eväät ja muut päivittäiset tarpeet kulkivat mukana.

Vaelluksen kantavana voimana olivat hetkipalvelukset, joita lauloimme Juhon johtamina useaan kertaan päivässä: Laudes, Sanan rukoushetki, Terssi, Seksti, Noona, Vesper, Kompletorium. Noin klo 7, 9, 9.30, 12, 15, 18 ja 21. Alla olemme Halikon kirkossa, jossa kävelypäivän päätteeksi oli hetkipalvelus. Hetkipalvelukseen kuuluvien psalmien toistaminen ja mietiskely tekee sielulle ja vaellukselle hyvää.

Joskus vaelsimme todella ”keskellä ei-mitään”, kuten allaoleva tienviitta osoittaa. Hahaha. Tästä huolimatta pääsimme Juhon suuntavaistolla tai maantiemuistilla hienosti perille kertaakaan eksymättä (toisin kuin viime vuonna, jolloin päädyimme vanhan rautatietunnelin kautta suljetulle satama-alueelle aitoja ylittämään ja alittamaan…). Juhon hienon järjestelytyön tunnustamiseksi me muut keräsimme päivittäin pieneen vihkoon terveisiä ja kommentteja Juholle päiväkirjatyyliin. Tämä lahja Juholla on kädessään viimeisessä kuvassa, jossa olemme Piikkiössä hetkeä ennen lähtöäni. Kiitos Juho – ja kaikki muut: ensi vuonna mukaan!

Roma/Rome/Rooma 23.6.2008

Monday the 23rd we had a full day to see Rome and its major attractions. First we visited a church near the Pantheon for morning prayer, then the Pantheon itself, then a famous ice cream bar near the Pantheon which fr. Robert Galla SCJ (now in Tampere, Finland) had first taken me to in 2003. There are about a hundred flavours and we each got a cone with 5. Keeping it together in 30 degrees centigrade was a challenge in itself. We met some Norwegians and I got the chance to speak a bit of Norwegian for the first time since my Lapland trip I think.

Then we walked to Fontana di Trevi for another refreshment…

Santa Maria Maggiore- kirkon jälkeen kävimme vinkulikirkossa eli P. Pietarin kahleiden kirkossa. Vanhat vitsit tuli mieleen viime Rooman reissulta kun vinkuli oli matkan teemasana. Terveiset Danielille ja Santille! Tässä Pietarin kahleet ja alla Michelangelon Mooses, jolla Hieronymuksen käännösvirheen takia sarvet päässä.

In the Church of St. Peter in Chains we saw the chains of St. Peter (surprise!!) and the famous Moses of Michelangelo with horns on his head. St. Jerome mistranslated the Hebrew in the Vulgate and instead of a shining face he had Moses have horns grow on his head (the words in the original OT text are close or identical to each other).

Forum Romanum. Hic totam horam latine locuti sumus, vulgari mente ac classice, italicis et barbaris. Sicut abhinc quattuor annos, Fantam aquamque latine emi, et Emma-Sofia fecit depositum in apparatum photographicum digitalem, spero ut possim eum mox hic installare ut spectari potest. Reactiones varias accepimus e gente – frustrationem, gaudium, ignorantiam – placuit mihi magnopere. Sicut Cicero aut Paulus ad gentes sermonem dixi alta voce et restitutionem Fori Romani proposui sed homines non auscultaverunt. Tragedia vera.

In Colosseo fui prima vice intra muras et vidi locum in quo multitudo martyrum christianorum vitam suam dedit pro Domino et ecclesia Dei crescenda. Miratus sum etiam quia pagani vitam non aestimaverunt sed mors eis ludus fuit atque tremendum est mysterium reprobationis Dei quia revelationem non habuerunt in salvationem. Date mihi veniam quoniam errores certe feci.

Roma/Rome/Rooma 22.6.2008

Bella Roma! Il centro del mondo!

Sunday morning I went to the Fiumicino airport to get Mari and Emma-Sofia who came there to participate in the Youth Forum together with me. We were the Finnish delegation. But that would start later, first we had time to visit the Vatican – or – as the Dutch delegation would later pronounce it, Fisit the Fatican:) Both the girls were in Rome for the first time so it was exciting both for them and for me.

After going to Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s, we had a chance to see the new statue of St. Josemaría Escrivá behind the church. Escrivá is the founder of Opus Dei, a Catholic organization that has given me much good.

Olen muuten kääntänyt Opus Dein, jonka perustajan patsas yllä, nettisivuilla jonkin verran materiaalia suomeksi. Sivut julkaistiin jokin aika sitten suomeksi, Pietarinkirkon jälkeen menimme Paavalin basilikaan, jossa on myös apostolin hauta. Oli suuri hetki päästä tutkimuskohteeni maallisten jäänteiden luokse. Adiuvet ut bene scribam de eo.

Poi abbiamo visto Luca di Leva e la sua famiglia, Elena & piccolo Francescino:) Siamo andati da loro per la cena e abbiamo visto l’ultima partita dell’Italia negli Europei contro la Spagna… abbiamo cantato canzoni napoletane e neocatecumenali:) Non avevo visto Luca da 5 anni.

We had a wonderful evening in a true Italian home on the first evening, and we loved it. It was Catholic, more particularly neocatechumenal, it was Italian, more particularly NEAPOLITAN, and really so, especially since Elena’s parents were visiting, and the father spoke such Neapolitan that one didn’t understand anything. I did a successful job at convincing the girls, especially Mari whose family comes from northern Italy, of the superiority of the inferiority of southern Italian or Neapolitan during the whole trip, but I think this visit was the most powerful:)

Luca oli suomessa seminaarissa vielä n. 6 vuotta sitten, mutta siirtyi sitten Italiaan, jossa tapasin hänet viimeksi vuonna 2003, kuten Giginkin (viime postaus). Tämän jälkeen Luca on mennyt naimisiin ja saanut suloisen pikku pojan. Meillä oli mahtava ilta ja vaikka Emma-Sofia olisi halunnut kotiin klo 9ksi, hän ei suuremmin valitellut, kun saavuimme hotellille (Domus Aurelia, joka oli päivästä toiseen vaikea löytää:s) puolenyön maissa. Tässä vielä yöllinen kuva vanhoista kaveruksista. Kiitos Luca!

Foggia/San Giovanni Rotondo 20-21.6.2008

Fougg’! That’s how Foggia is called in Foggia:) That’s about the first thing I learned while in… Foggia:)
Foggia is about as far from Lanciano as Lanciano was from Rome, but this time I traveled south instead of east (there was no more east to travel to, anyway:). In Foggia I met Gigi, my friend from the good old Ressu high school times when we did a cultural exchange with a high school in Angri, near Naples, Pompei, Salerno… that was 2003 and so it was 5 years ago that I last saw Gigi…

Gigi is studying medicine in Foggia but he goes back to Angri every now and then to see his family. But he can’t stay there for long because Angri makes you angry hahaha well no that was just a running joke from the cultural exchange… Anyway here we are, good old friends reunited.

On the 20th Gigi took me around Foggia. Some of the funnier things that happened was the Finnish flag they were selling (among others though of course) while I was wearing a Suomi-t-shirt, and a grandfather in a church that congratulated me for being taller than his grandson:D And despite my t-shirt he asked me where I came from, and when I answered he said ”no, where do you come from” – apparently a Finn couldn’t possibly find himself in Foggia… and well it happened again when I called my friends in Rome about the accommodation. First someone was told someone is calling from Foggia, and then that it’s me, and so he told me ”allora tu non chiami da Foggia” (so you’re not calling from Foggia [- you’re the Finnish guy]!)… :)

In the evening we visited a Neapolitan friend and had a great time (as always with Neapolitans;), got to listen to a lot of some wonderful Neapolitan and what made it even better was that there was a football game going on (Turkey-Croatia which ended dramatically in Turkey’s favour). We also met some other Foggia friends and at the end of the evening I entertained them with some magic tricks.

In the morning I had to put the famous ”Fuggi da Foggia” (Flee from Foggia) into practice and took a bus to San Giovanni Rotondo, the famous and huge sanctuary of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the great 20th century Italian stigmatist and Capuchin (Franciscan) Friar. You can read more about him here, or here (the local bookshop):

I’ve read a biography of Padre Pio by German Lutheran pastor Ruffin, called Padre Pio (The True Story). It’s very good and recommendable, and the fact that it’s by a Lutheran makes it better not worse – the approach is very appropriate and it’s very readable. So I was eager to see all the places I’d read about in real life, and much of them I did see. Here is Padre Pio’s confessional.

Some of the documented facts about Pio’s confessions include the ability to read hearts – he sometimes told the penitents their sins before they even confessed them and the ability to understand confessions and give advice in languages he didn’t know at all – one penitent exclaimed ”he speaks perfect German!” after a confession, but Pio didn’t speak any German. Actually he spoke the best language – Neapolitan!!!!;)

He was such a popular confessor that the queues were long and intense – sometimes there were fights and one woman even got a big trauma from the ”pie donne” or pious ladies that were always wanting to be near Pio – someone actually threatened to kill another person for jumping the queue for confession… talk about perfect contrition. People would also try to cut pieces off Pio’s habit (the religious vestment) as he passed by, and all kinds of little stupid things were being sold and/or distributed for popular religiosity such as cloth dipped in animal blood claiming to be relics of Pio’s stigmata. Yes, it’s crazy, but it testifies to one fact: there must’ve been something extraordinary about this man.

This is the Church Santa Maria delle Grazie where Padre Pio used to say Mass. People flocked into his Masses and found it extremely spiritual, they really sensed Christ’s presence and so wonderful it was both for them and especially for Pio that his Masses could and did easily take hours. Actually his last Mass can be viewed on youtube. The well documented stigmata disappeared from his hands a bit before his death and there is no sign of them anymore.

The interior of the same church. But as you probably realise by now, the flow of pilgrims after his death in 1968 has been so enormous that there was soon a need to build a new church, a huge modern church for the Masses for the masses:) The new sanctuary is where I too went to Mass and also confession downstairs where there was a whole special hall with a lot of doors with confessors.

Then there was the Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza. This is a religious hospital initiated by Padre Pio – an immense project of charity, actually a miracle. It is now the second best hospital in Italy. The goal is to take good care of the body but also the spirit – have a look at these pictures to see how professional medicine and devotion come together.

Then there was the exposition of the body of Padre Pio. I visited at an opportune time because from March till December his body is exposed for veneration now that it’s the 40th anniversary of his death. Unlike some cases where saints’ bodies have been found miraculously preserved (See eg the book ”The Incorruptibles), Padre Pio’s body was injected with formalin prior to his burial and after the exhumation a silicon mask was put on his partially skeletal skull. There are different opinions on this exposition, but here it is.

In the biography I read that Padre Pio laughed at the idea of his becoming a saint. He said that if they make him a saint, everyone coming to him asking for a favour must first of all bring him a crate of macaroni, and then he will grant the favour:D Well I told him I was sorry for not bringing a crate of macaroni with me, perhaps he’ll be my friend since we share the same sense of humour:)

After seeing the body I also got to see the crucifix in front of which he received the stigmata, a huge bookshelf full of his letters and his room, all behind glass though, naturally. Then I spent some time praying in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (which was, unfortunately, less popular than, say, a statue of Padre Pio in the tourist/pilgrim centre area) and reading, and at around 5 pm my bus to Rome arrived. I got my luggage from the surveillance room – there was no ”deposito bagagli”, I asked some cleaners where I could leave my luggage, they said the surveillance room but there they didn’t agree. After some debate they consented and started asking where I was from and wishing a nice day.

…fino al tramonto ti chiamo… sunset on the way to Rome from the bus window. I arrived in Rome around 11 pm and witnessed the end of Russia-Holland in the ELIS student residence with some old friends and fans of Kimi Räikkönen (there was a rumor that the second cousin of Kimi Räikkönen (that’s me) is coming to the residence for a night;). In the morning a new phase of the trip awaited me: the eternal city and its adventures:)