News & Events

News & Events

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

New Membership Policy coming in 2018

In an effort to give all our members plenty of notice, the Board of Directors for the Washington DC Chapter has voted to adopt a new membership policy for its members beginning January, 2018. After much discussion, it was decided to adopt a new policy that ALL memberships will be renewed in January of each year. Presently, you are being invoiced on your anniversary date. Memberships for most non-profit organizations have dues invoiced in January only and they ALL expire on December 31, regardless when the dues were paid during the calendar year. This will be our new policy as of January, 2018. By adopting this policy it will make planning and budgeting more precise and will make the renewal process more efficient. We are run entirely by volunteers and would like to “lighten their load” throughout the year. We greatly appreciate your consideration and understanding regarding this matter. As always, thank you for your continued generosity and support!

Posted on August 3, 2016

Father and Son’s Enchanting Day at the Museums and St. Pietro Mosaic Studio

Father and son Patrons, Joe and Peter Lomax, enjoyed a wonderful visit to the Vatican Museums on March 15, 2016. Upon arriving at the Patron’s Entrance at 8:00 AM, they were cheerfully greeted by Samantha de Carolis, their guide for the day. After starting the tour with the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms, they went to the Restoration studios. On display in the Paintings Restoration Laboratory was a nearly fully restored painting by Lorenzo Lotto of the whole extended Holy Family on a picnic with Jesus and John the Baptist. 

Lotto Extended Holy Family
In the Ceramics and Metals Restoration Lab they saw a unique Etruscan painted ceramic brazier which matches the Lomax’s interest in the Etruscans and Joe’s job as an inorganic chemist. The white paint on the ceramic was added after firing, and the black splotches were a manganese oxide that formed while it was buried. The chemistry of the splotches removal was as subtle as it was effective.

Lomaxes in Metals -Ceramic Studio

After the Restoration Labs, they met with Gabriella Lalatta and all proceeded to the Mosaic Studio of the Fabricca di San Pietro. Those who have met Gabriella know she is a force of nature and one is pulled along in the slip-screen of her wake.

Swiss Guard at gate
Ropes fell and Swiss Guards opened doors as they made it down a staircase, across the portico of St. Peter’s, by the Sacristia and finally to the Mosaic Studio. To their delight, they met Fr. Daniel Hennessey, L.C., the newly appointed International Director of the Vatican Patrons Office.

Fr Daniel Hennessy, Joe and Peter at Mosaic Studio
He, like Gabriella, made a special point of coming to see the Mosaic Studio, and it immediately became obvious why. As you see, they are by a rendering of a Raphael Madonna, Child and Baptist with bird. The exquisite art is seen in this close-up.

Close up of Raphael inspired mosaic

Mosaicist with a Monet
Having seen other mosaicists at work, for example this one making a rendering of a Monet, they thanked the artists at the studio, said good bye to Samantha and Gabriella, they headed back towards the Museums with Fr. Daniel. They finished in one of Joe’s favorite parts, the Etruscan Museum in another magical day in the Vatican Museums.

Posted on June 7, 2016