Yesterday, I found myself in the spring break predicament of trying to make a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza in Rome, Italy. Why was this difficult? Well, Italy is more known for it’s thin crust, more sparsely topped pizza. Why was I trying then? 1) It has been a lifelong dream of mine to master* the deep-dish, and 2) we have three seminarians here from the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, all from the Chicago area, and 3) seminarians tend to be hungry….really hungry. In all seriousness, it was part of my initiative to get to know people in our community here better and to have some fun.
Community is a large part of being in Bernardi because we eat together, pray together, play together and study together. It’s somewhat similar to living in a family: talents and faults of others become apparent very quickly. Talents and faults that you possess become apparent perhaps even more quickly. You get to know yourself and a whole crowd of interesting, diverse and wonderful people if you take the time and put in the effort, but to do so, you struggle through your own selfish tendencies, annoyances and flaws. Community life is a true joy and a true cross, rolled into one.
So, the slight struggles to find “cornmeal” (I used polenta) in Italy: worth it. Trying to convert a recipe written in ounces and cups to grams: worth it. Inhaling large amounts of cheese and meat: completely worth it. And watching part of Blues Brothers afterward, well, that’s just the sauce on top.
* I didn’t “master” it, per say, but it was a good and tasty first attempt. The mozzarella in Italy carries a lot of water, so it was more soggy than it should have been. D’oh! Well, try try again? 🙂
And, yes, if you recognize a couple of these guys, they were in the famous Joliet vocations story video . It’s a fan favorite at Bernardi.