Loading
Vatican Museums visitors happy priests are present
Fr. Isaac Vondoame stands inside the Vatican Museums during an interview with CNA.
Fr. Isaac Vondoame stands inside the Vatican Museums during an interview with CNA.
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A month-long pilot project to make priests available within the Vatican Museums to offer spiritual counseling to visitors is being hailed a success.

“There are so many themes that are spoken of. We might speak of art and faith or of economics and faith. Some people come to share their experiences or difficulties in their personal, professional or family lives,” said Father Isaac Vondoame, one of two priests who were available in the museums throughout August.

“The most special experience I’ve had is that a woman came to up to me to confess after many, many years. After her confession, she began crying. She found Jesus Christ in one way or another, also here, in this place,” Fr. Vondoame told CNA.

Together with Father Chidi Onwuka, the two Rome-based priests have been positioned at strategic positions within the Vatican Museums. Fr. Vondoame, who is originally from Togo, is a missionary with The Sons of Divine Providence, while Fr. Onwuka is a native of Nigeria and is a Missionary of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

They estimated that “dozens” of people per day have stopped to chat with them.

“When they see a priest at  their disposal they are very happy,” Fr. Onwuka said.

The visitors usually ask questions about “the meaning of some of the artworks,” but every once in a while someone uses the opportunity “to share some other things that particularly regard their spiritual lives,” he explained.

The Vatican Museums were founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century. They are now home to some of the most renowned classical sculptures and Renaissance art in the world.

Among the most popular exhibits for visitors are the four “Raphael Rooms,” painted by the Italian Renaissance artist and his workshop, and the Sistine Chapel created by Michelangelo.

“When people come here, most of the people are amazed by the beauty, the richness, how the earliest Christians were able to articulate their faith in art,” Fr. Onwuka said, adding that he has also grown in his knowledge of “the relationship between art and faith.”

In 2011 the Vatican Museums broke its own attendance records by bringing in just over 5 million visitors. That makes them one of the most visited museums in Europe, on a par with the British Museum in London, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Prado in Madrid.

Tags: Priesthood, Vatican Museums

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
22

Liturgical Calendar

October 22, 2014

Wednesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

Gospel
Date
10/22/14
10/21/14
10/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3: 2-12
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

Homily
Date
10/22/14
10/21/14
10/20/14