News & Events

News & Events


The six days in Rome, as always, were glorious! They were full of activities, memorable events, good friends, and great weather.

17 DC Patrons attended and enjoyed meals on the rooftop terraces of the Grand Minerva Hotel, the Forum Hotel, and the quiet shade of the Scarpone. It was a special trip for Art and Sue Lohsen, who were celebrating their 25th anniversary and brought his parents, Art and Joann, and their two daughters, Viola and Elena.

Sunday started with a walking tour around our neighborhood. The highlight was a tour of the St. Ignatius Apartments led by a knowledgeable and comical Jesuit priest, followed by the tour of the beautiful, ornate Gesú Church. 

We spent time in the Museums, seeing our restorations displayed throughout – a proud moment for our Patrons. Treated like VIP’s, we were whisked in and out of areas behind the scenes and led by the Museum’s leading experts in their fields.

A special day trip to the Pope’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, was highlighted with a tour of the residence followed by a tour of the beautiful, manicured gardens and a wonderful al fresco lunch on the grounds.

The Papal Audience was particularly special for Art and Joann Lohsen and their granddaughter, Viola, as they were given special seats and had an opportunity to meet the Pope after the audience!

On Thursday, our final day, the group was able to visit our newly completed Fresco of St. Paul at St. Paul Outside the Walls. Greeted by the restorer and Cardinal Harvey, the Archbishop, we were given a tour behind the scenes and treated also to a tour of the Scavi, which is still under construction.

On our final night, we returned to the Museums for a private Mass at the historic St. Pellegrino Church, followed by an after hours tour of the Sistine Chapel, Galleries and Raphael Rooms, curated by Romina. Cocktails and our gala dinner in the Rooms of Busts and Statues was attended by special guests: Cardinal Bertello, President of Vatican City State and Dr. Barbara Jatta, director of the Museums.

With plenty of free time built in the schedule, everyone had a chance to enjoy Rome on their own.

A special thanks to Father Kevin Lixey, Sara and Romina of the Rome Office, and their tireless work to help in the planning of this wonderful trip.

If you missed this trip, plan to go on our next trip in 2020!  

For more images of our wonderful trip, please Click Here

Posted on June 20, 2018

The Patrons visit Rugo Stone

On April 28th a group of Patrons had the opportunity to visit the workshop of Rugo Stone.  Rugo’s craftsmen have executed some of the most remarkable liturgical elements and decorations for churches around the country.  Brett Rugo himself showed our group how they restore stone elements, focusing on the cleaning and adaptation of a historic altar rail.  We were also able to look over the shoulder of one of Rugo’s Italian artists as he crafted a mosaic.  The Patrons owe a special thank you to Raffale Degregorio, a patron and member of Rugo’s team, for setting up this unique opportunity!


Posted on June 15, 2018

It’s membership renewal time for everyone

Please don’t forget to renew your membership this month. All memberships expire December 31, 2018.

Just go to “Membership” on this website and download the membership form. You can also click here for the 2018 membership form.

As always, thank you so much for your generosity and continued interest in the Patrons.

Posted on January 17, 2018

The Patrons’ Evening at the Nunciature Annual Dinner

The Annual Dinner was held December 2nd at the Nunciature, graciously hosted by His Excellency, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The evening began with a delightful cocktail party and a chance to reconnect with friends. CEM Martin welcomed everyone including special guests:
His Excellency, The Apostolic Nuncio,
Bishop Barry Knestout (who has just been appointed the new Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, VA), 
Msgr. Terrence Hogan, North American Chaplain, and
Father Patrick O’Neill of the Florida Chapter.

His Excellency welcomed our group and had kind remarks for our patronage to the Vatican. The Nuncio asked Brother Britt, archivist for the Nunciature, to share the interesting stories behind two paintings that hang in the embassy.

Msgr. Hogan updated our chapter on the appointment of the new International Director, Father Kevin Lixey (see his bio below), and upcoming changes that will occur at the Vatican Museums under the direction of Ms. Barbara Jatta, the new director.

Judy Martin announced the upcoming Chapter Trip (June 2-8, 2018) and everyone received an itinerary for their consideration.

The slate of officers for 2018 was proposed to the group and they were unanimously approved.
President:            CEM Martin
Vice President:    Art Lohsen
Secretary:           Judy Martin
Treasurer:           Ron Marchessault

After a lovely three course meal, we were inspired with the remarks made by Dr. Mario Enzler, a former Swiss Guard. He offered very thoughtful reflections of his time as a Swiss Guard under Pope St. John Paul, II, and how it changed his life. However, Dr. Enzler, also known for his wit, sprinkled his remarks with several humorous anecdotes.   

It was a wonderful evening and we were delighted to share it with you!

For more images of this wonderful event, please Click Here.

Posted on December 11, 2017


The 21st Annual Black Tie Dinner of the Washington DC Patrons of the Arts will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017.  The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, will be hosting us once again at the Nunciature.  Cocktails will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner at 7:45 pm.  This year Dr. Mario Enzler, a former Swiss Guard, will share some stories about his time in the Vatican. 

If you are a member in good standing, the dinner is included.  The guest fee is $225 per person.  Please feel free to invite a friend or potential Patrons!!

Just email Judy Martin at with any questions or your RSVP by November 24.

Here are a few images from last year’s Black Tie Dinner:

Posted on November 15, 2017

New International Director

The Washington Patrons would like to welcome the new International Director of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, Father Kevin Lixey, LC. You can find Father Kevin’s bio in the following link: Fr. Kevin Lixey, L.C. 
as well as his letter of Initial Greetings:  Initial Greeting from our New International Director.

Father Hennessy did a wonderful job and we will miss him very much. We wish him the best in his new assignment!

Here is a message from Fr. Hennessy to all Patrons in August 2017:
“I want to thank you for the many wonderful experiences I have had during the past year as International Director. I have enjoyed meeting so many of you, participating in the events, following the restoration projects, being involved in the exhibits here in Rome and abroad. You have been wonderful, and your contribution to the Vatican Museums is invaluable. You bring a value far beyond the financial help for the restoration and conservation projects. Your interest and enthusiasm is always refreshing and continues to transform the Vatican Museums. I can assure you that you are very much appreciated by the museum administration at all levels, including the current director, Dr. Barbara Jatta, and the Cardinal President of the Vatican City State, Giuseppe Bertello. I will carry with me forever the memories and life lessons from my experiences with the Patrons.”

Posted on November 15, 2017

EWTN The World Over Interview

Raymond Arroyo interviews Dr. Romina Cometti and CEM Martin on his EWTN program The World Over. Watch for a link to the upcoming episode.

Posted on April 10, 2017

The Life of a Swiss Guard, A Private View Reception

The Life of a Swiss Guard, A Private View opening reception was held on April 6, 2017 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Exhibition was unveiled Thursday night at the BNSIC with welcome remarks from Msgr. Walter Rossi of the Basilica, Most Rev. Christopher Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio and Msgr. Charles Antonicelli, representative for Cardinal Wuerl. We were delighted to have Col. Christian Lanz of the Embassy of Switzerland in attendance and briefly speak about traits needed to become a Swiss Guard.

Father Hennessy

Father Daniel Hennessy, our International Director, traveled from Rome to spend the week with us and offered his thanks to the DC Patrons for bringing the exhibit to the city.

Dr Romina Cometti and Dr Geraldine Rolling – the Archivist for the Basilica.

Dr. Geraldine Rohling, archivist for BNSIC was recognized for her assistance in setting up the event and Dr. Romina Cometti, who curated the exhibit and who we all know from the Patrons office in Rome, spoke about the origins of the exhibition and its message.

Colonel Lanz of the Swiss Embassy, Dr. Romina Cometti, and Andreas Widmer a former Swiss Guard with a guest.

Two former Swiss Guards, Andreas Widmer and Dr. Mario Enzler, offered humorous accounts of their decisions to become a Swiss Guard and a few stories about their time with St. John Paul II and how it deepened their faith.

CEM Martin, who acted as emcee, thanked the DC Patrons for their generosity and support as they made this Vatican Museums exhibit possible for thousands of visitors to enjoy.

About 80 guests were there to enjoy the wonderful hors d’oeuvres and period music provided by Concerto Degli Imperfetti, led by Jean Cioffi.

The exhibit will be at the National Shrine in Memorial Hall through May 21, 2017. Open 7-7 daily and free to the public.

Please tell your family and friends.


Posted on April 10, 2017

The Life of a Swiss Guard Exhibition

The Washington, DC Patrons of the Arts cordially invite you to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2017.  Beginning at 7:00p.m. there will be a special preview and reception of the The Vatican Museums’ Exhibition:

 The Life of a Swiss Guard
curated by Romina Cometti and photographed by Fabio Mantegna.

The exhibit will be at the National Shrine April 6 – May 21, 2017
Open 7a.m.-7.p.m. Daily | Free to the Public

For further information contact
We hope you will be able to join us!

Posted on March 29, 2017