Tour to Italy

Rome and Assisi

10th to 17th September 2008
Tuesday 11th September - Touring around Rome / Mass at the Nativity Parish

After having a cornetto and an espresso for breakfast, the members of Schola Cantorum Jubilate headed for the metro from where they left to the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura. It is one of the four major Basilicas of Rome dedicated to St. Paul, Malta's patron saint. Everyone remained impressed by the largeness and beauty of the Basilica. However, the most moving moment was visiting the tomb of St. Paul where some persons were praying with such devotion and faith. The Schola members visited also the cloister of the Basilica where particular remains are still visible, especially the perfectly sculpted columns. One particular mention should be that of the well-kept gardens which inspire the faithful for meditation and prayer. Then, the members proceeded to the area near the Colosseo. They visited the Foro Romano, the Prisons of Mamertino, the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, the Campidoglio and then the Vittoriano and Piazza Venezia. At mid-day, being in the church of Sta. Maria in Aracoeli, the choir performed ‘Regina Coeli' by Lotti. After this interesting excursion, they had lunch and returned to the Hotel. At 5pm they left the hotel once more and went to the Parish of the Nativity where Fr. Joseph Sultana who accompanied the choir during this trip, served for his first five years of priesthood. Fr. Joseph himself celebrated mass at 6pm and Schola Cantorum Jubilate animated the liturgy with: ‘Jesu Rex Admirabilis' (Palestrina), ‘Allelulia' (Taize'), ‘Ecce Panis Angelorum' (Perosi), ‘Ave Verum Corpus' (Mozart) and finally ‘Jubilate Deo' (Portelli). Mro. Portelli accompanied the choir on the Mascioni organ. The choir was greeted by the Parish Priest and by the congregation which attended for the mass. They all gave encouraging compliments to the choir and its Director, Marouska Attard. At young age, Mgr. Pietro Sigurani, the parish priest, used to sing with Lorenzo Perosi and thus was pleased to hear the choir performing Perosi's composition. To show appreciation for such a welcoming environment, the Leader, Stefan Attard presented a Cd ‘Jubilate' to Mgr. Sigurani. After the mass, the Schola members left the church and headed to the church of Santa Anna at the Vatican where they had a meeting with Mgr. Giuseppe Liberto who is the actual maestro di cappella of the Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina. After performing in front of Mgr. Liberto, the choristers had a speech by Mgr. Liberto about the significance and importance of music in the liturgy. Stefan Attard, leader of Schola Cantorum Jubialte presented a book of ‘Mottetti Sacri' to Mgr. Liberto. The book consists of a selection of compositions by the choir's resident composer Paul Portelli. Mgr. Liberto appreciated the gesture and promised the choir members that he would do his best to meet them again the following Sunday. After that meeting, the choristers went for dinner in a nearby restaurant. Before calling it a day, they ended up in a queue to buy an ice cream from a renowned Gelateria near the Vatican Museums.

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