PHOTOS BY: Rinascimento Sacro
The Eternal City glows amber, gold and umber in October; it is perhaps the very best time of year to experience Rome. In recent years, the third week of October has seen an extraordinary gathering of Catholics from all over the world, there to experience the beauty of Tradition in a Pilgrimage honoring the Summorum Pontificum apostolic letter which granted full freedom to the celebration of what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called the “Extraordinary” Form of the Mass.
Now, an international crew of Catholic film-makers is poised to make a historic documentary record of the 2015 pilgrimage — and to interview the prelates, priests and pilgrims who will process through Rome's ancient streets and into St. Peter's Basilica this year. REGINA caught up with Guillaume Ferluc, who is heading up the project.
REGINA: M. Ferluc, what were the origins of the Pilgrimage?
GUILLAUME FERLUC: The pilgrimage was born in 2012. The idea was to thank Pope Benedict for his Summorum Pontificum apostolic letter in occasion of the 5th anniversary of its implementation and to mark the Year of Faith. We organized it quite in a hurry with lay people from Italy and the support of Leo Darroch, then President of the FIUV (Una Voce inernational), and Fr. Claude Barthe, a diocesan French priest.
The pilgrimage takes place in Rome, during three days and has its climax usually the Saturday with a solemn procession by the streets of Rome and the celebration of Holy Mass in St. Peter's basilica. Cardinal Cañizares, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, accepted to join us in this very first occasion and we were able to bring in a 1.000 faithful.
REGINA: How would you compare the 2014 pilgrimage to the first one?
GUILLAUME FERLUC: In 2013, it was cardinal Castrillón Hoyos who welcomed us in St. Peter's while, in 2014, we had the joy to gather around cardinal Burke for our third pilgrimage. Attendance has been quite similar from a year to another as October is very crowded in Rome and it's difficult to find a place where to stay if you don't book it with months of anticipation. However, we had nearly 1.500 pilgrims for Mass with cardinal Burke, mostly Italian who come just for the Saturday, but also a consistent and growing number of foreign pilgrims who come for all the events. We had 50 all-long pilgrims back in 2012 and nearly 350 in 2014 and this is the most significant motivation for us to keep going.
Pilgrims sometimes come from far away: we had some from British Columbia, others from California, so many from Brazil, a few pilgrims from Asia while the rest mostly come from Europe: France, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, and so forth . . . .
REGINA: What was the genesis of this film idea?
GUILLAUME FERLUC: We had the idea of filming the Pilgrimage, or at least part of it, for some time now. At the beginning of the year, we have been approached by Les Films du Lutrin, a young film production company based in France. We knew about their work because they are producing a film about the Schola Sainte Cécile (note: the film is currently in post-production). We discussed the idea of a short documentary film about the next edition of the Pilgrimage that we could release on the Internet. We shared the same wish to promote Tradition and quickly came to an agreement. The director, who graduated from the Sorbonne, is himself a Catholic attached to the Traditional Latin Mass and is very sensitive to the beauty of liturgy.
REGINA: Is it a documentary?
GUILLAUME FERLUC: The film will feature the highlights of the Pilgrimage but we don’t want it to be a simple coverage of those events. Through this project we want to show a part of the spiritual and aesthetic richness of Tradition. This film will also give us the opportunity to let the participants speak. Thus, interviews of prelates, priests or pilgrims will punctuate the film.
Due to the international character of the Pilgrimage, the original version of the film will be multilingual. Mainly in Italian, English and French. We will also release versions with subtitles (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French).
REGINA: Are you looking for financial help to help get this film made?
GUILLAUME FERLUC: Yes. We've launched a crowdfunding initiative of 5.900 euros which is the amount necessary to cover the whole project. (Editor's Note: Click HERE to donate!)
With the help of Saint Philipp Neri, patron saint of the pilgrimage and “third apostle of Rome” who dedicated his life to the youth, the pilgrims and the sick, famous for his humor and his true Christian joy, founder of the Oratorians, we're assured to reach the target, especially as this year marks the 500th anniversary of his birth, in 1515 in Florence!
REGINA: When do you hope to have the film finished?
GUILLAUME FERLUC: We would like to release the film by the very beginning of 2016, most probably via Internet. We'll also give a copy of it to Pope Francis and to Pope Benedict who made us the pleasure to send us his blessing last year to mark the 10th anniversary of the Juventutem federation that participated our 2014 pilgrimage. In that occasion, Pope Benedict received a delegate from Juventutem accompanied by our general delegate, Italian antimafia prosecutor Giuseppe Capoccia.
REGINA: What events are you planning this year?
GUILLAUME FERLUC: This year, we'll have a special pilgrim with us as Dom Pateau, Abbott of Fontgombault, will accompany us during the whole pilgrimage. He will preside over our solemn procession to St. Peter's on Saturday, October 24 and celebrate Holy Mass for the Feast of Christ the King on Sunday, October 25, ath the parish church ot the Trinità dei Pellegrini (FSSP).
As ever, the pilgrimage will open by pontifical vespers on Thursday, October 22 and will offer the Rosary and the Via Crucis on Friday, October 23. Archbishop Pozzo will say Mass on Friday evening at Santa Maria in Campitelli where the Schola Sainte-Cécile will take advantage of the unique architecture to sing Marc-Antoine Charpentier Mass for 4 Choirs H4.
On Sunday, Mass will be sung by Cantus Magnus, a British choir directed by Matthew Schellhorn. Matthew Schellhorn and his musicians will be in Rome for the general assembly of the Fœderatio Internationalis Una Voce which will be held in conjunction with the pilgrimage. Please note that the prayers of the pilgrims will be especially directed towards the Holy Family for the success of the Synod on the Family that will also take place at the very same time.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to help make this film a reality, please go HERE.)