I can see the peak of this mountain from my office window at the Cathedral. With my new job at the Newman Center I work on the other side of this peak and drive around the mountain on a daily basis. So I determined that with my next full day off I would take advantage of the trails to the peak. The actual peak was a disappointment. The trail does not go all the way to the peak, but stops several hundred feet from the peak. The private property at the peak has been taken over by a vineyard. Still it was a marvelous hike and did not take very long. On this particular day off my fit-bit indicated I had walked 13, 305 steps
I had arrived new to Chicago on September 10, 2001. As September 11 dawned, I was the new Formation director for the Society of the Precious Blood. Two CPPS members had made an appointment for lunch to welcome me to the City. Everything I had was in boxes that had been delivered in the previous days.
It was a little past 8:00 am. I had celebrated Mass, said morning prayer, had a small breakfast and was just about ready to open the first box. My cell phone rang. It was my sister.
“Have You unpacked your Television?”
“Well, unpack it and turn it on, I will wait.”
It took a few minutes, and a few technical details, but I got the small TV unpacked and, and placed on a bookcase, and turned it on and set it to the same network my sister was watching.
I told her of what was going on in Chicago, how the high buildings in in the City were being evacuated.
Alone in my new home, I watched the coverage for the next several hours. Close to noon I turned the TV off and headed over to The CTU where I was to meet the other two CPPS members for lunch.
They had not heard of what was going on in New York. And they did not believe me when I told them. When we got to the Restaurant where everyone was watching and everyone was talking about it, then they believed me.
For the next several days I was glued to the television, slowly unpacking boxes, and contemplating what it meant to form priests for a new world.
Sigh...Early Morning, 6:30am Mass, breakfast, last minute packing and then picked up at 8:00 for the journey to the airport. The Pilgrimage had come to an end. The Pilgrims were treated to some incomparable and memorable events. Ready for the long flight. We landed safely and headed home. Ah, to sleep in your own bed again.
Our last full day in Italy. We had Mass and Breakfast while we decided what to do for the last day. We had been underneath St. Peter. We had been on top of St. Peter. We had not been inside. Unfortunately we forgot it was Wednesday and the Audience would be happening. We spent time alternating between waiting in line and taking refuge in the shade. Put finally we got in and spent a couple of hours exploring the the Cathedral of the World. After a marvelous pranzo at La Victoria. Could not get Vince to smile. Then over to what is reputed to be the best gelateria in the world. The Home to pack.
On those days when we eat so well at Pranzo, we get to the end of the day and it seems unseemly to have another meal. WE found a little wine bar a couple of blocks from us and retire their with some meats and cheeses and a glass of wine. It is the conversation that is the best.
If you have not read "the Face of God"by Paul Badde (Ignatius Press), you are really missing something. He has a new book called "The Holy Veil of Manopello (Sophia Institute Press) which he gifted me this morning and very graciously autographed. Paul Badde met us early at a little cafe for some coffee and then accompanied us as we headed up the hill to a Dominican Monastery dedicated to the Holy Rosary. There we celebrated Mass and prayed the Rosary and spent some time with the Icon, the oldest Icon in the world, written by St. Luke of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The we headed over to the Santa Scala, and I along with a few of our pilgrims ascended the Holy Stairs on our knees.
Then for the final experience, we headed over to Dino and Tony's where we are treated to a delightful feast
A simple day start with Mass and Breakfast and then we ere picked up at 8:00 for a day on the road. We went all the way to the Adriatic sea and then turned inland to Lanciano to witness the Eucharistic Miracle. The Lanciano Miracle always gives a very clear indication of how close God wished to be with his people in the Eucharist. That this miracle occurred somewhere between 730 and 750 and 1300 years later it is still living flesh is what is amazing. In the past it has been a very quiet even with few people. Today we had busloads of children and another bus filled with Polish pilgrims. It was a bit noisy in the church. The Book store manager offered to show us a short video in English which was much appreciated.
Then we headed back to the sea for Pranzo. The restaurant we wanted to go to had closed and so we researched other Restaurants. This was a simple little place, but the food and service was outstanding. It started with a four-way seafood starter which included crab meet with pickled red onions, two different combinations with Calamari and a tuna with red peppers concoction. Then we had whole shrimp, then Mussels with tomato, fried Calamari and we wondered when the Primi would come. The starters continued with snails in tomato sauce. Then the pasta came with shrimp and baby clams and mussels, accompanied by a torta with cheese, gnocchi with shrimp and grilled calamari. Then came the fish, sea bass and others grilled and then we were done with coffee and desserts.
Next, we all slept in the car while we headed toward Manoppello. We gained the assistance of Sister Petra-Maria Steiner on the recommendation of Paul Badde and she was able to open for us the wonder of the Veil of Manopello.
Then we headed home exhausted and many just went to bed early.
Sunday, lazy day, time off. We had an early Mass and Breakfast and then took the morning off. The first order of business was Pranzo at 1:00pm. We had the marvelous company of Sr. Margaret Obrovac of the Daughers of St. Paul and Joan Lewis joined us for dessert. The Sr. Margaret gave us a guided tour of the Prison house of St. Paul. Then we went over to make a requisite visit e to Trevi and even stopped to say hello to St. Gaspar
Omnia Christus Est Nobis
Christ is everything for us!
I am a Roman Catholic Priest from California. I spent 13 wonderful years years as a member of the Province of the Pacific in the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. The outline of my life can be traced here.