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Rockets Attend Mass at St. Peter Basilica, Tour Rome

The Toledo women’s basketball team had the opportunity to visit a couple historic sites in Rome Sunday during its eighth day in Italy.

The Rockets had the option to attend mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning before taking part in a guided tour of Italy’s capital city in the late afternoon.

The Rockets posed for a photo on the Spanish Steps in Rome.

A handful of Toledo players and staff attended the 75-minute mass and heard Pope Francis speak to the congregation of at least 2,000 people.

“This morning’s mass was a powerful way to start the day,” Head Coach Tricia Cullop said. “It’s a very rare opportunity to celebrate mass at St. Peter’s, as well as hear the pope speak. Those two things are something many of us will never have the chance to do again. The best way to describe that is powerful.”

Sophomore Jaela Johnson agreed: “The mass was a great experience. I’ve never been to anything like this before. All the sculptures and art were beautiful. And to top it all off with hearing the pope speak made it so special.”

On the walking tour, the Rockets visited the Pantheon (a Roman temple originally built in approximately 27 B.C.), Trevi Fountain (the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world), and the Spanish Steps (a monumental stairway of 174 steps built in the 1720s).

“There’s so much history in Rome,” Cullop said. “It’s hard to catch all of it, especially with the short time we are here, but I thought we did a great job of seeing as much as we possibly could. Our players are just so grateful for the opportunity to be here.”

Toledo will spend its final day in Italy Monday before returning to the Glass City Tuesday. The Rockets are scheduled to visit the Vatican and the Vatican Museum.