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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]rguably the longest ongoing temple project for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Rome Italy Temple moved one step closer to its intended existence today when the Church announced its dedication – March 2019. Yep, we’ve got a whole year.
Announced in 2008 and having faced a bevy of construction woes, the temple will be Italy’s first and Europe’s thirteenth, likely followed by the fourteenth, Lisbon Portugal, sometime closely thereafter. To put that timeline in perspective, the temple will be dedicated two years after being topped with its statue of the angel Moroni. It’s gone on for so long you might have forgotten that this was still a thing and it was not yet over, sort of like the show Bones.
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Many recall the audible gasp in the Conference Center when President Thomas S. Monson announced the temple. It wasn’t quite at Provo City Center levels, but it was there! A temple in Italy! Take that, Berlusconi! (Ironically, Berlusconi was Italy’s prime minister when the temple was announced, was then convicted of tax fraud after leaving office, and might very well be prime minister again by the temple the temple is dedicated! O Italy!)
The general public will be invited to tour the temple, per custom, from January 28, 2019 to February 16, 2019. The temple is one of many buildings constructed on the 15-acre lot, including a new meetinghouse, a visitors center, a family history center, and patron housing.
Mormons in Italy currently attend the Bern Switzerland Temple to engage in the work. While there’s been no press release about the Rome Italy Temple’s district, it will presumably pull form all of Italy’s 10 stakes, as well as the stake in Albania. There’s potential that some other eastern areas that are fresh from having their missions consolidated, like Greece, Bulgaria, etc. could be roped into the district instead of Freiberg, Germany.
Given the 2019 dedication date as well as the upcoming dedications of temples in Chile and Colombia this fall, 2018 might see only those two temple dedications.
The Newsroom’s announcement gave no indication of a cultural celebration to accompany the temple’s dedication, a tradition that we have speculated might be on the outs under President Nelson if only because that now makes three new temple dedications where no such celebration is to be held.
With missionary working slowing overall in Europe, one must wonder when we’ll see another temple on the continent after Lisbon is completed. Unless the work picks up in Eastern Europe, which currently has three stakes in Czechia, Hungary, and Ukraine, respectively, it might be a while. Still, onward!