Here comes our latest post from our vocations pilgrims in Rome, as reported by Andrew Solkshinitz. You can see more photos of the Mass of Thanksgiving Andrew writes about on our Vocations Flickr account.
Today started out early at Sant Andrea della valle with a beautiful Mass of Thanksgiving in honor of Saint Andre of Montreal. We participated in Holy Mass with some twenty bishops and three cardinals in attendance.
The number of Holy Cross priests, brothers, and sisters in attendance was innumerable. The turn out to honor and praise God for this new saint was wonderful to see. The Mass contained four different languages, which was a pleasure for those who enjoy languages, and it helped us really understand how universal our Church is.
After the Mass we headed out to go see ancient Rome. We pilgrims all made a stop at the ancient forum and the coliseum. We were led in prayer by Fr Jim Gallagher, and we were reminded of the many martyrs who lost their lives to the amusement of many of the ancient Romans. We took a very special trip to Saint Clement's Basilica where we explored a church built on top of 2 layers of ruins. Most of us took the tour down to the bottom where we saw an ancient apartment complex dating back to the 2nd century.
Our group took a long hike afterwards on over to a very nice part of Rome where we were received at the home of the US ambassador to the Holy See. We met with the ambassador and many Holy Cross priests. We all enjoyed socializing and getting the chance to rest our feet for awhile. After some new experiences with Italian food we headed off for dinner at an exquisite Italian restaurant where Kyle Smith and Fr. Pete McCormick soon learned that pepperoni pizza didn't mean any meat, but rather just peppers. Oh well, the food was still great.
That was it for the day and many split off to go get gelato or walk around St. Peters square at night. We are only 3 days in and I personally am having a great religious experience and I know that the pilgrimage aspect has not been lost on my fellow travelers. We are certainly blessed by the Holy Cross priests, and we appreciate any prayers that we can get. Saint Andre Bessette, pray for us!