Dawn is breaking over Lake Albano at Palazzola. The moon still hovers over the lake but already the birds are singing, welcoming the new light of day. This must have been an experience once shard by the Cistercian monks who for centuries lived and prayed here in Villa Palazzola, today the summer retreat for the priests and students of the English College in Rome.
This morning the Preentation Brothers Chapter will officiially open with Mass in the Chapel. It will be celebrated by Father James Corkery, a Cork priest, who works at the Gregorian University in Rome. Present also this morning will be many friends and guests from the city of Rome, including many religious, among them Christian Brothers from the Via Marcantonia Colonna community.
Among the guests the Chapter will welcome the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, Her Excellency, Ammbassador Emma Madigan. Ms Madigan is the first woman to be appointed to this position and the first appointment to the position since the recent re-oening of the Irish Emgassy to the Holy See,
The Chapter will also welcome the Rectpr of the Irish College in Rome, Mosignor Ciaréan O’Carroll, and the Rector of the English College, Monsignor Philip Whitmore.
Today will be a formal celebration of the opening of the Twenty-Eighth Chapter of the Congregation of the Presentation Brothers in which the delegates from arond around the world, guests and friends will invoke God’s blessing on the work of the Chapter.