The Roamin' Roman

Benvenuto! You have happened upon the blog of a wandering Catholic American college student studying for a year in Rome, the Eternal City. You will find here my pontifications, ruminations, reflections, images, and ponderings on my life in Rome. Ciao!

Sunday, March 12

2nd Sunday of Lent

Another week - another Lenten blog entry. I've just returned from an impromptu overnight visit to beloved Assisi, thanks to the generosity and warmth of the Little Sisters of the Lamb. But I guess that's getting ahead of myself... Let's see, well, Station Churches first of all I guess.

The Lenten pilgrimage continues onward, I came down a bit sick with a nasty cold a while ago and I still wasn't feeling the greatest earlier in the week so I slept in and missed one of the Station Churches, on Tuesday. And, yeah, I was in Assisi for the weekend so I missed those two as well. But - all the others, faithfully attended! Of special note was the one at St. Mary Major on Wednesday (Cardinal Law was supposed to celebrate, but he was a no-show for some reason), because it was in one of the coolest "side chapels" in Rome (the one with the miraculous painting of Our Lady). Also of note was the church on Thursday, San Lorenzo in Panisperna, notable not only because of the church but also because Bishop Slattery of Tulsa Oklahoma was the main celebrant. Friday was great, I mean, it was the Basilica of the Holy Apostles (with the tombs of Sts. James the Younger and Philip - what's not to love?).

Intersperse all this with some classes here, a few coffee chats with various friends there, a little dash of phone conversation with old friends, and as always, a great Wednesday evening house Mass, discussion and dinner. Our special guests on Wednesday were three of the Little Sisters of the Lamb - which brings me back to the beginning of this post! :) Everyone loves the Little Sisters in blue, and this time was no exception, they come from all corners of the globe to answer God's call to be witnesses in the world of His mercy and Divine Providence and everytime you see them they have a glowing smile on their faces with wonderful stories to tell of their missions in the streets - knocking on various doors, begging for food, talking to people of all walks of life, and basically just helping everyone they come in contact with to encounter Christ through them. So, after talking with us about their life and vocation, they joined us for dinner.

In the course of dinner, I discovered that the sisters were going to be in Assisi this weekend, and praying one of their famed vigil prayer services on Saturday night. As chance (or, Fr. Carola I guess) had planned it, the Bernardi house was also planning on going to Assisi on Saturday - so of course I inquired as to whether we were going to be together or not. Well, I found out that they were not getting into Assisi until later in the evening on Saturday, after our bus was going to leave to head back to Rome. But, Sr. said, perhaps I could stay in Assisi and join them for the evening? Well, SURE! I also found out that Susan was planning on going too, so that sealed the deal. :)

So we get to Assisi on Saturday (all 31 of us!), and have Mass at San Damiano among other things... I won't say much about that, it was basically a typical visit to Assisi (see my last two trips in August (about half-way down the page) and last October (camera-less), I'll put a few photos up in a minute from this trip.

As everyone else winds down their Assisi trip, through a series of Providential events Mariana (another girl here this semester) decided to stay behind with me and Susan, and we met up with the Little Sisters on their way into town. After a bit of searching, we found the place where we were going to stay, situated perfectly, next to the large town piazza. It's run by the Franciscan Third Order Regulars (TOR - the same order that runs the famed Franciscan U in Steubenville), who have a convent of their own nearby, and it is in the old "home" of Francis' family!! He himself likely lived there for some time when he was growing up, though this is uncertain. They do have the actual deed of the property as belonging to his family though - pretty cool to be praying in a chapel that was once where the family gathered.

This morning, we wandered around Assisi some more with the sisters, and went to Mass at St. Clare's basilica -beautiful Lenten Mass - with them. Afterwards, we went back to the house for a wonderful, typically Italian, pranzo (lunch) that lasted a good two hours! There was a wonderful couple there from Bologna, who brought pasta from there (yum - my favorite!), and a younger guy and his girlfriend from Siena (my other favorite town).

So yeah, that's about it I guess. There's always more to tell, but only so much blogspace (and only so much of your attention spans...). And I do need to sleep tonight - since our household has been delegated to assist at the Station Church Mass tomorrow morning, way down at San Clemente, which is quite a hike for us to make... we leave at 5:45am! (Why are we helping at this one? Because the NAC is having its own "seminary visitation" and so all the seminarians/deacons/etc have to stay there tomorrow.)

May our Lord continue to bless you all this Lent, as we continue our journey together in Christ! Oh - and Happy St. Patrick's Day, since I won't be talking to you again until next Sunday... St. Patrick, pray for us!


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