Monthly Archives

January 2014

Lisa and Jacqueline

Farewell to Roma

As I sit in the good old United States of America looking back on a semester in the Eternal City, I am having a hard time putting into words what the whole experience meant for me. I am back now, in my hometown with people and places so familiar to me. Yet, in a very real way, Rome, or at least parts of Rome, had become so familiar as well. There are certainly many dirty, smelly, annoying things about the city, and I am happy now to be back in the U.S., but I will always remember and treasure my time in Rome. There are little ways Rome is still with me, such as getting the Italian Mass part songs stuck in my head, wishing we had common dollar and two dollar coins to match the euro, or meeting every inconvenience with “Va bene.” In fact, last week as I was thinking through a trip to the store and my desire to put my purchases on two separate checks, my thought process went something like this, “How can I convey to the cashier that I want to pay for my groceries in two separate groups? Hmm, I wonder if they will even let me do that? – Oh wait, I’m in America now, I can just talk to them in English!” While I’m sure these kinds of thoughts will abate as I adjust back to the U.S., I think I can safely say that I am forever changed for the better by my European adventures.

The last days of the semester were certainly bittersweet, doing things I’d wanted to do all semester but hadn’t gotten around to it, and also revisiting favorite places to say goodbye. Jacqueline did such a good job capturing this aspect of the last few days that I’ll leave that to her, but here are a few pictures from my last week.

Our group picture from Florence where Fr. Carola took us women on a day trip shortly before the end of the semester.
Our group picture from Florence where Fr. Carola took us women on a day trip shortly before the end of the semester.
After visiting Gallery Borghese, one of those things I had wanted to do all semester, we stopped to take in the view of Piazza del Popolo from the Borghese gardens.
After visiting Gallery Borghese, one of those things I had wanted to do all semester, we stopped to take in the view of Piazza del Popolo from the Borghese gardens.
Then it was time to say goodbye to the streets of Rome and to St. Mary Major.
Then it was time to say goodbye to the streets of Rome and to St. Mary Major.
Goodbye to Piazza del Popolo and the twin churches.
Goodbye to Piazza del Popolo and the twin churches.
Goodbye to St. Peter's.
Goodbye to St. Peter’s.
Goodbye to the Bernardi chapel.
Goodbye to the Bernardi chapel.
And goodbye (for now) to all my Bernardians.  I wish all the best to the next group and all future students who take on that name.  Make the most of your time, it will go by fast.
And goodbye (for now) to all my Bernardians. I wish all the best to the next group and all future students who take on that name. Make the most of your time, it will go by fast.

From Jacqueline:

As our time in Rome grew closer to an end, tests and papers began piling up due to the Italian education system which saves everything till the end. The first floor lounge was filled with study parties and the commuter lab filled up with busy writers. Of course that didn’t mean that people stopped seeing the sights of Rome. Bernardians worked hard to complete their Rome bucket list.

During the last couple of days I was able to revisit many of my favorite places. Among other things, I looked one last time at Caravaggio’s paintings in Santa Maria del Popolo and visited the tomb of Saint Catherine at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. I also climbed the holy steps, the steps Christ stood on when he was condemned by Pontius Pilate. I remember the first time I saw all these holy places; I had been awestruck in wonder and surprise. Instead of that initial awe, there was now a quiet sense of peace and familiarity.

One of the privileges of living in Rome is the gift of being able to visit so many of our friends, the Saints. Thankfully, many Bernardians were able to get relics to bring home. I got relics of Saint Maria Goretti and Saint Gemma Galganni. I am so grateful to be able to bring these home with me, but I will certainly miss the toweringly beautiful churches which held many more Saints.

On our last night in Italy, all the Bernardians went as a group to A’ll Orsetto, a small family-run restaurant with which we had become quite familiar. Part of the beauty of Italian culture is that they really value regular customers, and there were a number of places where the waiters knew us by name, a way we really entered into Italian culture. After our lovely dinner many of us went to get gelato from Old Bridge, a gelateria right by St. Peters, and said goodbye to the Basilica that had become so familiar.

Rome is really at the heart of the Church. It’s streets are thick with rich history and filled with Catholics from all over the world who gather to study or even to come for just a little to see Papa Francesco. I was blessed to physically see the family of the church. It is a family which spreads horizontally across the world but also vertically throughout time as seen through apostolic succession and the Saints from the different centuries. While it is time to come home and finish school here, I know that our lives are changed from experiencing a new culture. Yes, there are cultural marks that people can see such as getting a slightly crazier hair cut or wearing more scarves, but there are also things that are much more profound. Traveling has given me a deeper understanding of what culture even means. My fellow Bernadians have given me deeper understanding of what community means. Rome has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be Catholic, and that is something which will impact the rest of my life.

Lisa and Jacqueline

The Little Sisters of the Lamb

Every Thursday a small group of us go the Little Sisters of the Lamb to do gardening work, cleaning, or whatever else they need done. These mornings were some of my favorites in Rome. The sisters are so trusting, relying entirely on God’s providence, and their simplicity is so beautiful. It doesn’t matter whether we are raking leaves, cleaning the chapel, trimming trees, or pulling weeds, just spending time with the sisters, getting to know them and learning from their way of life is a wonderful experience. They are some of the cutest sisters I have ever met. The four sisters we work with are from France and Spain and are working on their English. They are always very excited to learn new English words. They are always laughing and so joyful. At the end of our morning of work they always give us tea and cookies, which is a great time to talk to them more than the gardening work allows. Here are a few pictures from our last day with them.

The sign outside their door. (It says Little Sisters of the Lamb).
The sign outside their door. (It says Little Sisters of the Lamb).
This time we also helped them make lids for the boxes they store their music in.  Here is Elizabeth Heaney measuring the wood.
This time we also helped them make lids for the boxes they store their music in. Here is Elizabeth Heaney measuring the wood.
Sisters with power tools!
Sisters with power tools!
Sister Benedetta brings out the wood stain.
Sister Benedetta brings out the wood stain.

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Raking leaves in January...who would have thought?!
Raking leaves in January…who would have thought?!

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Washing up at the end of the morning.
Washing up at the end of the morning.

 

It was sad to say goodbye to them on the last day.  I had a wonderful time, and I will never forget them.
It was sad to say goodbye to them on the last day. I had a wonderful time, and I will never forget them.

 

Uncategorized

An Italian Fiesta

Something that is sorely lacking in Italy is Mexican food, so for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12th, all of us Bernardians got together and prepared a Mexican feast. There were of course some adventures, such as successfully finding the only place in Rome that sells cilantro, but at the end of the day, it all worked out and it was a great time.

Dan Foley, Kyle Laylan, and Andrew Dieter work on the piñata.

Dan Foley, Kyle Laylan, and Andrew Dieter work on the piñata.

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Cooking chicken for the enchiladas.

Cooking chicken for the enchiladas.

 

Elizabeth Heaney works on some guacamole.

Elizabeth Heaney works on some guacamole.

Annie Junker wanted to help, so she and Hannah Polsky rolled the ice cream in corn flakes for the fried ice cream.

Annie Junker wanted to help, so she and Hannah Polsky rolled the ice cream in corn flakes for the fried ice cream.

 

The completed piñata.

The completed piñata.

Even little Benny Junker helped out in the kitchen.

Even little Benny Junker helped out in the kitchen.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Lisa and Jacqueline, Uncategorized

More Glimpses from Roma

This semester is going by so fast! Every time I turn around, another week has past, and next week we will all disperse for Christmas break. I have a ton of photos that didn’t fit into any of my other posts, so, here are some random pictures.

This is from our picnic lunch in Piazza del Campo in Siena, where Fr. Carola and the rest of the chaplaincy took us on a day trip.

This is from our picnic lunch in Piazza del Campo in Siena, where Fr. Carola and the rest of the chaplaincy took us on a day trip.

The Junkers came with us to Siena.  Here is Dr. Junker with little Benny.

The Junkers came with us to Siena. Here is Dr. Junker with little Benny.

Liz Shearer and Annie Junker in Siena.

Liz Shearer and Annie Junker in Siena.

The friars from New York came with us as well.  They are in one of our classes at the Ang.

The friars from New York came with us as well. They are in one of our classes at the Ang.

Fr. Carola and Annie Junker walk hand in hand through Siena.

Fr. Carola and Annie Junker walk hand in hand through Siena.

This is the vineyard in Tuscany I walked through.  It was an unforgettable experience.

This is the vineyard in Tuscany I walked through. It was an unforgettable experience.

This is the view of the Forum from the top of the Palatine Hill.  It was amazing!

This is the view of the Forum from the top of the Palatine Hill. It was amazing!

 

Mary Conway and Elizabeth Heaney at a Jewish restaurant where we had dinner to celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah.

Mary Conway and Elizabeth Heaney at a Jewish restaurant where we had dinner to celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah.

There is a Eucharistic miracle in Orvieto, and when we got into town, we were greeted by a giant monstrance!

There is a Eucharistic miracle in Orvieto, and when we got into town, we were greeted by a giant monstrance!

This is just a random fountain we stumbled upon walking to the Vatican one day.

This is just a random fountain we stumbled upon walking to the Vatican one day.

As Advent continues to fly by, more and more lights are going up in the streets as Rome prepares for Christmas.  Now all we need here is some snow.

As Advent continues to fly by, more and more lights are going up in the streets as Rome prepares for Christmas. Now all we need here is some snow.