The Perpetual Family

From Rome to Las Vegas to Blackheath and Back

“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve;

because she was the mother of all living.”

—Genesis 3:20

The first time I ever visited Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, it was in the company of a pretty Irish-American girl from Massachusetts named Evelyn.  Her father was some kind of Democratic politician back home.  She and I were just beginning a semester abroad.  She was art history; I was classics.  We were both only 19.  All the way over, as we walked down on a sweltering August afternoon from Monteverde Vecchio through the Janiculum park, she had been arguing with me about contraception and population control and not wanting children.  Her ideas were definitely not papal.  As we were about to enter the vestibule, I told her that I really would rather not hear her contradicting our Faith just here, and to wait till we were in a bar.  She laughed agreeably and said that it seemed a little sacrilegious to her, too.  Silently, then, we walked up toward the confessio.  When I went over to kiss the foot of Saint Peter’s image, she said, “I guess you would like to be alone; I’ll meet you on the roof.”  It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18).


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