This post continues Father Jeremy Driscoll's journal entry for October 22, 2012, a part of his reports on his experience during The Synod of the New Evangelization.
Readers may find Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV here on the MAS Journalism blog.
Monday, October 22, 2012:
Last week Cardinal Dolan gave a very nice reception at the end of one day for all the Americans in Rome for the Synod - so the bishops, the theologians, the helpers, the journalists. It was a good gathering, and I enjoyed a lively conversation with John Allen. Monsignor Peter Wells was also there, whom I like very much, a high functionary in the Secretariat of State.
After that party Cardinal Dolan flew to New York so that he could be present at the Al Smith dinner he was hosting for President Obama and Mitt Romney. He was back in the Synod Hall 36 hours later. He is amazing and bigger than life. At the cocktail party I told him, "Have a good trip and meeting with the president and Governor Romney." When I saw him shortly after, upon his return, I couldn't resist the opportunity to say, "How did the dinner in New York go last night?" He remains very friendly to me every time our paths cross.
On Friday evening, Fr. Bruno, the Master General of the Dominicans, with whom I ride back and forth from Sant' Anselmo each day, invited three Nigerian bishops to dinner at Santa Sabina and invited me to join them. It was a joyful affair. Bishop Badejo, who is in my small group, and I get along very well, with lots of jokes but also serious work getting done. He was one of those at the dinner. The two others were just as fun. So, that was a sweet evening.
I actually have time to write this today because of the day being off. I appreciate this down time before the last push. There is a Vermeer exhibit at the Scuderia, and I went this morning. My eyes relaxed as they rested on the beautiful paintings.
One other little vignette to record before I close this day's reflections: on Saturday morning, after the session, I ran into Archbishop Fisichella leaving the Synod Hall, and he invited me to walk across the piazza with him to his house, which is very nearby. He changed into his suit, and then we walked to his office. This let us have about 30 minutes of conversation about how the whole Synod was going. He is always extremely perceptive. I wrote a review of his book on the New Evangelization (English version) which appeared in the English version of Osservatore Romano this week. Good timing on my part and, of course, intended!