Monday, November 16, 2015

Reflections On A Pilgrimage

We are back! It has been three days now since we returned from our Shrines of Italy Pilgrimage. Our group of sixteen joined up with a Florida group of seven and six pilgrims from Canada at Rome for an awesome spiritual travel experience.  Our tour guide was one of the best we have ever encountered. Contrary to predictions - we had warm sunny days every day while there - our tour guide commented that it was unusual to go for so long without rain or clouds - we were all happy that we were blessed with excellent weather. We started in Rome - ventured to Assisi - Florence - Loreto - San Giovanni Rotondo - Pompeii - Salerno - Cava de Tirenni - Montecassino - back to Rome - visiting the shrines of St. Francis - St Clare - St Benedict - St Scholastica - St Matthew - Michael the Archangel - St Mary - St Peter and St. Paul. Most of us also ventured around Rome to visit the Coliseum - Plaza Navona - the Pantheon - the Roman Forum - Trevi Fountain - all spectacular sights. In our evenings and free time in the afternoons we enjoyed the wines and cuisine of Italy.  Friendships developed quickly among the group - the shared experience blessed everyone. Holy Mass was celebrated almost every day with Father Dennis - Father Terry and Deacon Dale - delivering inspiring homilies - complemented by special meditations from Chaplain Arlene. Eleven days focusing on the Divine - inspired by the words of Pope Francis at the Wednesday Audience - drawing each pilgrim closer to Jesus - Our Lord - closer to God - the Author of Life.

Deacon Dale's Pilgrims at St. John in Lateran Basilica - Rome, Italy 

Pilgrimage is as old as the Church - since the time of Christ - people have been seeking God's presence everywhere in the World - in simple - grand places - in peoples from all walks of life - at every turn of the corner. Participating in a pilgrimage is one of the most rewarding adventures anyone will benefit from  - following in the steps of Christ - following in the steps of fellow pilgrims.

Deacon Dale