June 18, 2011. (Romereports.com)
The Domus Australia is the home of the newest pilgrimage site in Rome for people coming from Australia. The Domus will serve as a hotel and pilgrimage center that will keep Australians up to date to the news going on 'down under'. The newly refurbished chapel enjoyed its first Mass with the Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and many of the workers involved in the construction.
They're hoping to have construction finished this summer to host any
young people that will be traveling throughout Europe for World Youth
Day in Madrid this August. Many Australians have already signed up for
the event.Card. George Pell
Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia“There's about 1100 coming from the Archdiocese of Sydney. Overwhelmingly, they will have memories or will have seen World Youth Day in Sydney. They've got some idea what they're in for, but there's nothing quite like coming into countries like Italy and Spain which are saturated with Catholic history and culture.”
In charge of making sure this project is finished in time for these pilgrims is the head architect Santiago Hernandez Andreu.
He says the work to redesign the chapel and plan out the hotel is something that's being completed by an international crew in order to represent the different parties involved.Santiago Hernandez Andreu
Architect, Domus Australia “This is the work of the cardinal, who has put a lot of confidence in me and our architecture studio in which we have many people that work here in Rome. This has created a working team that is not always easy because the world is made up of very different cultures, like the world of Australia and the world of Rome.”
After the construction and design of the hotel is complete, the task of running the day to day operations will be in the hands of its new director Gabriel Ignazio Griffa.
His goal is to help the guests feel at home. He's hoping to create this environment with the help of this 19th century Victorian fireplace. Gabriel Ignazio Griffa
Director, Domus Australia “The goal that we wanted to have with the fireplace, specifically is to create an environment in which the family, the tourists who come here have a place to feel at home and share their different experiences. Like what they've seen so far and to be in Rome with all these experiences they have.”
After this celebratory Mass in the chapel, the Domus Australia will look forward to holding many more with the Australian Catholics who pass through Rome, as well as any other traveler looking to get a taste of Australian culture in Europe.