Sunday, February 28, 2010
A Belated Update--Roma e Ravenna
WOW..it's a lot harder to keep up with the blog than I thought! Since we've been doing so much over the past 2 weeks, I haven't had the chance to update. I'll try my best to recap, and we'll see how this goes...

I guess the main highlight has been doing the station churches! :) We go to a different church every morning for the Lenten season, according to a centuries-old tradition. It's ridiculously early, mind you, but they're amazing churches, and I love the chance to get to participate in an ancient tradition. So far, we've seen Santa Sabina, Santa Giorgio (which was Cardinal Newman's parish when he was in Rome), Ss. Giovanni e Paolo (over the house of Sts. John and Paul), Sant'Agostino (which has the bodies of St. Augustine and St. Monica), St. Lorenzo (on the site where St. Lawrence was martyred), and a few others whose names I have forgotten already. I think my favorites so far have been one of the last three...I couldn't take my eyes off the painting behind the altar at Ss. Giovanni e Paolo.

As of now, I've started all my classes! I think I covered a little of the other 2 classes, so I'll just fill you in on these ones. Church, Culture, and the Biomedical Revolution is good--one of the teachers from St. Thomas is teaching it, and it's running basically like a regular class, so lots of reading, papers, etc. We're reading the Social Doctrine of the Church, so it's very good material!
Fundamental Moral Theology is just absolutely amazing--we have it with the Pope's theologian!! Great professor--he talks SO fast and packs in a TON of information though! I think I took 6 pages of notes the first day, and still missed stuff!!! The last class was so insightful even just as an inspirational talk that I think I would've been content just listening. The guy is so gentle, and so knowledgeable on his subject (obviously, cuz he's, y'know, the Papal Theologian. Which means he rocks, but not quite as much as the Pope lol). This is a European-style course, so entirely lecture, and very little class input. BUT, two Thursdays ago, we started to read a passage, and he was pointing out a problem with the translation from Latin. He asked the class some general questions about how the Latin is laid out, and I answered a few times. Eventually, when he asked another question, he pointed at me and said, "You tell me! Your Latin is good!" I think I was complimented on my Latin skills by the Papal Theologian!! I don't even know what to make of that! Especially since I'm surrounded by priests and seminarians and nuns and theology majors and stuff, so I'm extremely humbled to even be there, let alone have him call on me for something, considering I'm just a random kid from Pittsburgh compared to all these people. As you probably could have guessed, I was freaking out for the last 10 minutes of class lol. Anyway, the last class is Poets and Mystics. It's with Fr. Paul Murray, who was apparently once Mother Teresa's spiritual director. Also taking the class is a Nashville Dominican, Sr. Jane Dominic, who spoke at the University of Pittsburgh earlier this year. It sounds like it's going to be a good class, and the professor definitely has character. :) OH and I am taking Latin!!! Haven't had the class yet, but we're doing the Latin Vulgate Bible. :-D So I think that's the gist of it. Otherwise, I've met up with Caitlin Crawford and Adam Burch this week since they were in from France, Barbara from my high school (who is also studying in Rome), my cousin Jen studying in Florence! :-D It seems like everyone's converging on Rome this week! I'm also having fun with my community, who are all very nice people.

Also, since Tuesday was the Chair of St. Peter, I got to see St. Peter dressed up in the Basilica! :) Every year on this feast, they put a papal tiara and priestly robes on St. Peter's statue, and I was so excited to see it!!! As soon as I get the pics on my computer, I'll post one! :-D

I guess the last thing to recount is our trip to Ravenna! We rode the bus up VERY early Saturday morning, and we got back this afternoon, so it was a quick trip, but quite fun! We got to see a LOT of mosaics from the 5th century to medieval times. It was so neat to see the consistency in art between Rome and Ravenna, and also to see how well some of the mosaics had been preserved throughout the centuries! :-D We saw Dante's tomb, too, and heard a great story about how they hid Dante every time some outer force (the Florentines once, Napoleon once, and a possible threat in WWII) tried to reach him. There's now a huge monument to him, which we got to visit. I kept thinking of Fr. Mike, because Dante's his favorite author! We had a VERY fun AND HUGE dinner last night, and ate on the road today. We stopped at a truck stop which was pretty much like a Sheetz, only it served Italian food instead of subs. :-D

All in all, it's still been an amazing experience, and God is definitely pouring on the graces! I'm praying for the grace to trust more in the Lord and to open up to His Love so that He can work through me and within me. He has provided so much, and I'm so thankful for His blessings!
posted by Kristin @ 4:47 PM  
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Name: Kristin
Home: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
About Me: Seeking my true Fatherland as I travel this spiritual journey with Our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope, with the help of God, to follow in the example of the saints and strive for holiness.
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