Yesterday, members of our group shared some thoughts on how the pilgrimage has been going to date. These words were prepared before today's memorable visit to St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican. Here is what they said:
Italy so far has been an amazing experience. Have seen a lot of eye-opening and super cool things. A highlight/most special experience would be seeing all of the items that were unexpected but amazing to have been kept all these years (i.e. a piece of the cross Jesus was crucified on, the bones of the finger of St. Thomas, etc. Being able to pray in front of such things is something I, as well as the other members of the group will keep as memories forever. Throughout the trip a prayer often said was to thank the parishioners/other groups that were so generous in their donations to our trip! It has all been much appreciated! - Kate H.
Many incredible experiences in Rome! A true testament to this is the blisters on our feet and the aches in our legs. We have all put on many miles on our shoes and have visited such significant churches (I have lost count) that represent both those who laid the foundation of or Catholic Faith and also those who fought to maintain it throughout the years. Two highlights for me were the tomb of St. Ignatius and the chains that bound St. Peter. But that barely scratches the surfaces. Such a life-changing experience! - Darren L.
The most memorable experience for me was the Roman Coliseum. It was incredible to imagine the Roman gladiators fighting wild animals. - Joshua W.
This trip has been filled with spiritual treasures and blessings. We have seen many magnificent basilicas, where the Trinity is truly alive. Climbing the steps that Jesus ascended to meet Pontus Pilate was very moving to me. Relics in other basilicas included a nail, 2 thorns and the wood of Jesus' cross - amazing! To share these spiritual blessings with the group makes it even more special. - Scott W.
So far my favourite experience was going to St. Peter's Square and seeing Pope Francis. It was amazing to see so many people, and to be in the presence of such faithful people. Even though the walk was long, it was definitely worth it. Also, the hunt for Gabby was quite memorable, however, it was a scary time. So happy we found her. YAY! - Jenna G.
Been an awesome experience so far! Many memorable moments, including seeing the pope and losing myself in the Pantheon square....But it has been very spiritually encouraging as well and it's been a great group to travel with. - Gabby S.
The most memorable moment so far for me was the choir and Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore. Even though the songs were long, the choir took my breath away as the voices and instruments echoed throughout the church. The Mass was in Latin and Italian so I didn't understand much, but with the choir I felt really touched and blessed to have experienced such a wonderful Mass. -Shalyn M.
Italy has been absolutely amazing! From the delicious food to the amazing sights, it has been sharing these experiences with new found friends that has been most memorable. Highlights so far include the amazing choir at our Italian Mass, a visit to the Capuchin Crypt and having a blessing from Pope Francesco! Looking forward to our personal Canada Day celebration in Rome with more gelatto and capuchinos. Miss you, Mom, Dad, and Ty! xoxo - Kate :)
My highlights for Italy have been a visitation to the Pope, and seeing a piece of Jesus' crib at St. Maria Maggiore. However, my favourite part was being able to see a piece of the True Cross at Santa Cruce Church. The food is great but the company is even better. Also, we lost Gabby but we found her!
- Nick C.
Josh S. says "hello", and he will have more to say, without a doubt... Stay tuned for Rome from Josh's perspective...
And from the group chaplain...well, he will definitely need a holiday after this pilgrimage! All joking aside, it has been a blessed journey and great group to be with. We are thankful for our many blessings.