Monthly Archives

October 2007

Melissa

The City of Surprises

Rome is a city of surprises. It seems like every time I take a different route to school, I discover some beautiful flower, or cute little shop, or a church with, say, the head of St. John the Baptist.
Although there are means of public transportation here, they are not always the most convenient way of traveling(not to mention, they might not be up and running because of a strike), so we usually walk everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Although by the end of the day I’m usually quite exhausted and ready for bed, I am very glad of these walks because of the little surprises I encounter along the way. One day, I decided to take a different route home from the Angelicum. Although I felt a little lost at times, I happened to run across two beautiful little churches in the same small square. Since there was a wedding going on in one, I couldn’t explore it as much as I would have liked, but I did find a little side chapel that housed the head of St. John the Baptist. Not just a little relic, but the whole skull! You can imagine how surprised I was by the preciousness of what I’d stumbled across.

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Hank

Settling In

talkingMonday, October 8th arrived and along with it our first day of classes; over one month later than our peers back in St. Paul. The beginning of classes also means that after the initial, frantic excitement of arriving in Rome, we are coming down off that high to settle into a more regular routine. We are approaching the period of time in which many Catholic Studies Rome students enter a frame of mind which Sister Helen, the British Dominican who runs our program at the Angelicum, affectionately referred to as the “slough of despond”. This is not a part of studying in Rome that most people hear of from their friends – and rightfully so as it is not representative of the overall experience – but it is common for many of the students to go through each semester.

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Melissa

Arrival: The Eternal City

archrificWe have been here in Rome only one week and two days and already it feels as if we have been here for months, even though plenty of things come up each day that show just how much of a rookie we still are at living in Rome. But perhaps I should introduce “us.” My name is Melissa Hackenmueller, and I am a junior at the University of St. Thomas, currently studying abroad in Rome, Italy. There are 25 people in my group: 11 girls and 14 guys. Dr. Martens, his wife Tabitha and son Sam also live with us students. We live in the Bernardi Residence, which is on the Tiber River across from the Italian Ministry of the Navy. For the rest of the semester we will be living together “in community,” which is a first for some of us. Although I did not know what it meant to live in community when I first arrived, I am gradually learning that it means that we will live, eat, pray, study, and have fun together, and in so doing grow in friendship so that we can support each other in our trials and rejoice in our blessings. Or something like that.

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