Pilgrimage to Rome: Day 2

Itinerary for Today:
Rome:
Church of San Lorenzo with the World Youth Day cross*
San Lorenzo Church

Trevi Fountain*
Trevi Fountain

Pantheon*
Pantheon Nocturno

Spanish Steps*
The Spanish Steps, Rome

Piazza Navona*
Piazza Navona

Predicted Italian Weather:
87 degrees and a thunderstorm in the afternoon. What?! No thunderstorms for our pilgrims! 😦

Update!
One of the pilgrims has written to us about her experiences on this day!

Pray!
Spend some quiet time walking and talking to the Lord. Take a walk and remember the footsteps of all who have come before us on the journey of faith. Pray for the safety of the travelers. See the suffering Christ in someone around you.

Hear me, O Lord, and have pity on me.

Father in heaven, Your love for us never falters in spite of our transgressions and failures. Please show Your mercy for me in my difficulty (mention your request). Through the intercession of St. Francis and for the sake of Christ, Our Savior, have pity on me. Amen.

Lord, make me an instrument of peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
For it is in giving, that we receive,
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying, that we are born to Eternal life.

* Note: None of these pictures are mine, as I’ve never been to Italy. *sob* Nor are they pictures from the pilgrims. They are pictures taken from people who have allowed others to link to them; you can click through each picture to the photographer’s page, to see more of their work.

May God bless you, pilgrims!

Pilgrimage to Rome: Day 1

First…

*I* am not going on pilgrimage.

But my priests are, along with some of the teens in our parish:
Frs. John and Steve:  Traveling Priests

They are going to Italy!

While they are gone, they have posted up a novena and their basic itinerary, so that we can live vicariously through their experiences and pray with them along the way. πŸ™‚

Itinerary for Today:
Flight over the Atlantic

Predicted Italian Weather:
90 degrees and partly sunny!

Pray!
Pray the St. Francis Prayer for Peace and show your humility by doing a good deed for someone today.

O God, come to my assistance.

Heavenly Father, You know all things and nothing is hidden from You. In Your mercy and kindness, and through the intercession of Saint Francis, come to my aid in my present distress and grant my humble petition (mention your request; e.g. the fruitfullness of this pilgrimage and the safety of the pilgrims during their travels). Amen.

Lord, make me an instrument of peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
For it is in giving, that we receive,
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying, that we are born to Eternal life.

As today is a traveling day, they are likely not going to be seeing much but airports and airplanes. πŸ™‚ Perhaps in the subsequent posts, I’ll try to add some pictures of what they *might* be seeing. And, hopefully, they’ll share their pictures when they get back! πŸ™‚

May God bless you, pilgrims! And may He grant you an easy journey today!

A Lovely Morning

Even though it was the day after a holiday where I stayed up late, I got up early this morning with the intention of going to the 6:30 am Mass at OLGC.Β 

When I got there, there was a disturbing lack of cars in the parking lot, although it was only 7 minutes until the start of Mass. Plus, there were a few cars *leaving*… Not a good sign.

It turns out that there is only a 9 am Mass today, which I wouldn’t be able to make. I sat in my car for about half an hour, watching all the birds, praying, and just enjoying the morning.

I headed into downtown Plymouth and was greeted by these pretty flowers on the corner of the street where I parked:

From 2013-07-05

Then, I decided to treat myself to breakfast at Panera. I got a breakfast sandwich and actually sat down in a seat by the window, looking out at other people starting their day.

Of course, I also stopped by the Starbucks next door and grabbed an iced mocha. πŸ™‚

I went back to the church, to see if anyone had shown up yet to unlock the doors so I could pray, but as I was driving there, I saw Fr. John driving in the opposite direction… So, no praying in the church for me!

Instead, I took a photo in front of the Lourdes grotto:
Good Morning, OLGC!

And sent it to Fr. John. You know. So he wouldn’t miss me or something… LOL! πŸ™‚ Fulfilled my duty as the annoying little sister for the day! Yay! πŸ™‚

On a Friday Afternoon…

It was a nice, sunny, warm Friday after work, and I decided that I didn’t feel like getting stuck in stop-and-go traffic on the way home, so I tarried at Our Lady of Good Counsel for a bit.

My boss had given me her old pair of Rollerblades, and I’ve been keeping them in my trunk — you never know when you are going to have the opportunity to use them.

I parked the car in an unoccupied corner of the parking lot which looked relatively flat and popped open the trunk. I donned my new-to-me ‘blades and started skating around. I could only do 2-3 largish figure 8s around the car before I had to sit on the bumper and rest a bit, but it was a lot of fun!

As you can see, I haven’t yet gotten around to matching my socks and just grabbed the two which came closest to hand this morning:
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At least this is the current fashion for the school kids and I can just pretend that I did it intentionally to be trendy. πŸ™‚

After skating as long as I could, I still wasn’t quite ready to leave and walked around with my camera taking pictures of various things.

There were these cute little blue flowers.
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I saw pictures of them on Google saying that these are bluebells, but I’m not sure… They’re very cute, whatever they are.

There were also these little berry things. I didn’t try to eat them. πŸ™‚
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And a small flowering tree in the “wooded area” between the parking lot and the Garden of Gethsemane.
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Peter was still sleeping, so I didn’t try to wake him.
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Instead, I looked around and found a cool little stripey rock:
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I walked over by our Lord, and someone had placed roses by Him. Unfortunately, this put thorns right by His face.
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I wasn’t too crazy about that. 😦

I prayed and lit a candle for my intentions:
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I admired the oddly peeling bark of one of the trees:
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I then visited the other side, where we have the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. There was a bunch of new candles anxiously awaiting prayers:
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Our Lady had flowering trees, too:
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The Living Stones of OLGC:
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I’m sure that I wouldn’t be able to pick out which one was my stone if it was held up in front of me. But… didn’t I take a photo of it before I put it in the pile? Hmm…

There’s a little nook by the front entrance with a bench. It’s a little odd, seeing as there are floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides of you, so everyone inside the church can see you sitting out there, but no one was around on a Friday afternoon, so I sat for a little while. See? I even saved you a seat! πŸ™‚
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While I was sitting there, I got to look at this statue. I think this is supposed to be Baby Jesus.
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As you can see, I’m quite talented at amusing myself. πŸ™‚ As soon as some joggers started down the driveway, I decided that I had stalled for long enough and headed home. It was a pleasant diversion from the daily drive. πŸ™‚ I love Church!

Vocations – A Reflection on the Single State of Life

I think the single life is a state of life which is not often recognized as a vocation in our culture today. Too often, it may be seen more as a state of pending — waiting to determine if I am called to marriage or to consecrated life, instead of as an authentic calling on its own. I bought into this and was waiting myself, until I realized that God calls me all the time, and that I am currently in a valid state of life. And that I had better start responding. As a single, I do not have the same ties on my time, resources and attention as married couples. I can travel on pilgrimage. I can be that substitute catechist. I can be on parish council. I can volunteer at the various fundraisers. I can sponsor events. I can help out on a moment’s notice. Parents are the primary educators of their children, but in some ways, singles are the primary educators of their peers. I am living in the world in a way in which religious are not and I have potentially more free time to attend lectures to deepen my understanding of the faith and have greater access to a wider population of people. There is an expectation of a married couple to be more responsible, more religious, and in some ways more mature than a single. This, I find to be a great challenge for me to step up and attempt to be a good example of what it can be to live a good Christian life as a single. God is not waiting to call me, so why am I waiting to respond? If my state of life changes, then I will respond in that capacity at that time, and serve in the new role which God has called me to fulfill. He is calling today and I am answering today, with all the flexibility, resources and time that I have currently as a single, able to live my life entirely for others.

— Published in the OLGC Bulletin, March 22, 2009 πŸ™‚

Dignity of Life Speaker Series: Fr. Tad Pacholczyk – “Care and Treatment Decisions for Compromised Patients at the End of Life”

Wednesday, February 25, 2008
Following 7:00 pm Ash Wednesday Mass

Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
Director of Education, The National Catholic Bioethics Center

Fr. Tad is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. As an undergraduate he earned degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He later earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain. He also worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church
47650 North Territorial Road
Plymouth, MI 48170
(On the corner of Beck & North Territorial)

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This series is sponsored by Gospel of Life Committee at OLGC. For more information, please contact Mark Renfer @ mark.renfer@gmail.com

Fr. Tad studied for 5 years in Rome where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo. He has testified before members of the Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia and North Carolina State Legislatures during deliberations over stem cell research and cloning. He has given presentations and participated in roundtables on contemporary bioethics throughout the U.S., Canada, and in Europe. He has done numerous media commentaries, including appearances on CNN International, ABC World News Tonight, and National Public Radio. He is Director of Education for The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and directs the Center’s National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics.

The Dignity of Life speaker series is a response to the crisis of modernity as described by Pope John Paul II. He wrote that the crisis of our age is the pulverization and degradation of the dignity and uniqueness of the human person. The speaker series address this crisis and hopes to offer concrete avenues to transform the culture into a genuine civilization of love.