February 9, 2010.
By 2011, this building, which is in the heart of Rome, will turn into the first center in the city for Australian Catholics.
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney along with Australia’s ambassador to the Vatican, Tim Fisher, visited the site to take a first hand look at how this ancient Roman building will turn into a new center for pilgrims. Card. George Pell“This is a significant development in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia. Most Australian Catholics have a great loyalty at the Pope and the Vatican, and this pilgrim house will strengthen these links.”Tim Fisher
Australian Ambassador to the Holy See“It will improve the relationship between Australia and the Holy See, between Australia and Italy”
The focal point will be the church, which is just a few meters away from a great archaeological find, the remains of a first-century wall. The ancient finds will be protected and allow tourists to visit. Card. George Pell“One of the ambitions is a beautiful chapel that there will be a priest attached and the idea is that you come us tourist, we will encourage them to develop into pilgrims and for those you come as pilgrims.”Tim Fisher
Australian Ambassador to the Holy See“This year we are anticipating the canonization of Australia’s first saint, the blessed Mary Mackillop, we are hopping the Pope might next month and if it happens, we say nothing yet, much more”.
The site includes 36 rooms that will be available for the nearly 60-thousand Australians who visit Rome every year. Some of the rooms are made for pilgrims with disabilities other are made for large groups. It has a dinning room, a conference room and 12 meeting rooms.
For tourists who stay here, they’ll have access to the latest information on how they can attend some of the pope’s audiences along with information on Rome’s most historic sites. They’ll also be able to stay in touch with the latest news from Australia.
In a matter of months, Australian Catholics will now have a place to check into that will serve as a home away from home in the Eternal City.