Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cool Things My Friends Do (Week #103) - Rob Hill at the Vatican

Each week on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their personal and professional lives.

This week Pope Francis lead the ceremony at the Vatican that canonized Popes John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. This was a historic event, having two former Popes declared saints at the same time, as well as it was the first time a reigning Pope and retired Pope (Benedict XVI) celebrated a mass together.

My friend, Rob Hill, flew from Texas to Italy to attend this historic

event. Rob is a "dynamic Catholic", and wanted to be present at the Vatican for this once in a life time opportunity. His trip was quite an adventure, but he had a great experience (I read about his travels on Facebook, as he has not yet returned to Austin. I look forward to buying him lunch and getting to hear more of the details).

Rob began studying the Italian language 6 months ago in preparation for his adventure. The cool part is that he had planned to travel alone, but ended up connecting with a group students from the University of Dallas (who were participating in a semester abroad outside of Rome). They adopted him into their group, and one of them was the niece of a guy from his church in Austin (Random- the world is very small sometimes!!!).

These kids were informed on how the crowds would be handled, and the best places to wait in line to get into St. Peter's. They darted to the barricades to position themselves and then were corralled like sheep down the long via della Conciliazione. The students got separated from him but Rob was among the last 100 people to get into St. Peter's square.

Next he befriended two local Italians (thanks to his ability to speak the language).  They knew what to do and suddenly he was 300 meters from the alter. After 14 hours on his feet (much of it in the rain), he actually got a seat for one of the most historic events of our time. Cool.

I am excited to include Rob's story as week #103 of "Cool Things My Friends Do".

Have A Great Day

thom singer

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