The Pilgrim’s Routes

Dear Patrons and Guests,

Please join the New England & New York Chapters of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums for two virtual lectures with Fr. Michael Collins

Life is a journey and we call a spiritual journey a pilgrimage. Please join Father Michael Collins, as we visit two of the most celebrated cities of the world. Travel along the routes, meet some famous figures from history who made the same journey and admire the art inspired by these sacred spaces. While we take a journey on this virtual pilgrimage, we will encounter images of the festivals and processions, as well as local culinary products of each varied region. Father Michael has visited and accompanied groups to the sites and will bring us behind the scenes to some of the fascinating hidden gems.

The Journey to Jerusalem

For more than five millennia,  Jerusalem has been a place of pilgrimage. Our virtual journey crosses sea, mountains and valleys while recounting the importance of the Holy City for Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Crusades were launched to liberate the holy sites from Muslim invaders in the 11th century. The city once housed the celebrated temple of Solomon which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. We follow the most popular routes and visit some of the famous sites of the Holy Land.

To view the lecture from April 1, 2023, click here.

The Road to Rome

The adage claims “all roads lead to Rome.” Since its foundation close to 3000 years ago, Rome has drawn people from every part of the globe. As it stretched across Europe to form an empire, Rome influenced all levels of life. The presence of St. Peter and St. Paul, whom tradition claims died in Rome, has drawn pilgrims for centuries to pray at their tombs. Our virtual tour traces the medieval pilgrimage trail called the Via Frangigena, the route from Canterbury to Rome.

If you are having trouble viewing the video above, the following audio file should play with ease:

Fr. Michael Collins is a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Ireland and has taught history and culture in a number of universities in Rome. A best selling author, Fr. Michael has written and edited 15 award winning books which have been translated into 12 languages. He has been featured on various International TV channels, including FOX News, CNN, NBC, SKY News, as well as appearing on 60 Minutes. Fr. Michael is a regular guest at literary events, including the Oxford Literary Festival, Spencer Althorp Festival and the Blenheim Palace Festival.

NY Chapter Projects

For a PDF version of this brochure, click here.

Brumante Courtyard

Apollo del Belvedere  (2nd Century BC marble)  Pre-Restoration Study

Study of the project should be completed  in March. Will include ways to reinforce  the stress points in the legs and supports,  as well as the pedestal on which it will  stand. Weight will require some  reinforcement of floor for support as  storage rooms are below.

Constantine Room

Restoration of the final corner of the  room is about to begin. 3 ¾ of the  room has been completed and the  remainder should hopefully be  completed in time for the 40th anniversary. The discovery of the 2  ladies actually done by Rafael has  been confirmed. Project has come a  long way since my visit in March 2016  and the unconfirmed discovery of the  first Rafael “Lady.”

Barga Triptych- In honor of Lee Romanelli

Two of the 3 sections have been restored, as has all of the gilded trim which will be  re-installed upon completion. However, it may be as much as a year before the  project is fully completed because restoration thus far has taken longer than  expected. Work that has been done thus far is quite amazing when compared to the  pictures taken before the work started.

Photo and text credit: Camille Kelleher

“Two Millennia of Beauty & Devotion” VIRTUAL LECTURE SERIES

Join the Patrons with their families and friends in a four-part lecture series with Fr. Michael Collins, tracing the development of sacred art in the Holy City. During these virtual tours, we descend to the underground chambers of the Roman catacombs, visit the archaeological sites underneath St. Peter’s Basilica, and enter the Apostolic Palace itself.

Each episode will start at 1PM Pacific Standard Time (4PM EST).

June 6: The Art of the Catacombs    Watch here
June 13: The Tomb of Peter       Watch Here
June20: St. Peter’s Basilica         Watch Here
June 27: The Banker’s Son & The Most Unfortunate Pope   Watch Here

Click Here to Register


In Progress: Bramante Courtyard Restoration – See Video Link


The New York Chapter just completed the funding of a $150,000 Chapter grant towards the Bramante Courtyard restoration project.  We invite you to take advantage of multiple gifting opportunities on individual or corporate levels so that you too can become a part of this amazing work.  Four of our board members have stepped up and made contributions totaling $300,000 towards the Bramante Courtyard restoration.  We hope this will inspire you to realize how critical it is to support the restoration of the works at the Vatican Museums.  Please visit the “CONTACT US” page for more details.