Friday, August 3, 2012

Welcome to the land of Francis and Clare

Reliving 22 July

Well, as a matter of a fact, I made it to the end of my first week in Rome.  I must say, I have never sweated for seven straight days, but being here in July has proved that all things are possible.  Lucky for me, today I made my way from Rome to Assisi and I'll be here for the next month learning to "parrrrlaarrrrayy il Itaileyaaannooh".  The good thing is that I have already learned two very important phrases: "Ho bisogno di bagno" and "Vorrei una birra".  I need to use the bathroom, and I would like a beer.

Getting from Rome to Assisi is about 3 hours north-northeast by bus.  The first thing I immediately noticed upon arrival was the cooler mountain temperatures here.  What a glorious relief!  I'm serious it feels like that crisp spring breeze we get in Michigan in April and May.  The medieval city of Assisi is built on the side of a mountain, so you can see it for miles as you drive toward it from down in the valley.  I wish I got a good pic of it from far away, but I'm sure I'll have that opportunity at some point while I'm here.

It was awesome (and funny) coming into the city walls and parking because we just so happened to park next to a bus full of Missionaries of Charity who were on their way out.  I will say this, it doesn't matter where in the moment you are geographically located, if you find yourself suddenly in the company of the MC's, there's a real good chance you are probably where you should be.  These are the religious sisters founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and they are AWESOME.  Some who were still outside the bus came over to talk to us while passing out small medals and holy cards of Blessed Teresa.  Par for the course.

Now this will not come as a surprise to anyone from the Diocese of Lansing, but as it should happen, the missionaries got one look at Monsignor Jerry Vincke as he literally just stepped out of the bus and went wild, beckoning him to come onto THEIR bus.  The MC's really LOVE priests.  And with Father Jerry's sheepish grin, I mean what religious sister could resist that.  Apparently, Father Jerry knew one of them.  Because Father Jerry knows everyone.  Arrive in Assisi on a random summer day, run into an MC you happen to know, be a rockstar like usual.  Laugh about it later as you punch someone in the arm.  The life of Monsignor Jerry, what a good and holy man.

We took a very brief walk through the city to get our bearings and recognize a few of the major churches here before having dinner together at the hotel.  This evening was free for us to walk around and explore.

San Rufino church.  San Rufino, believe or not, is the actual patron of Assisi.

Santa Chiara.  St. Clare is buried here!

Awesome old Italian couple

Some streets are only for walking or for "motorino-ing" (vespa-ing, if you will), like this one. This street view is typical of Assisi. It is BEAUTIFUL here!

There are a ridiculous number of stairs here since the city is on the side of a mountain

Well I'm really happy to be here, I think this will be a great month for retreat and learning, and getting to know my classmates better.  We are staying at the Hotel Posta, which actually can't house us all so they send some of us to their annex a little way up the hill called the Cassa Santa Rosa.  I'll be staying at the Cassa.  It is an incredible place to stay, I would give you pictures but I'll throw up a video later instead so you can get a better idea of my situation.  The good Lord is really really good.

Sunset on the night we arrived.  Absolutely incredible.  I couldn't decide which one, so here are two pics I took of it

1 comment:

  1. Brian - you are spot-on with your Fr Jerrry comments, especially the laughing and punching - what a holy man he is. Please know of our prayers for you! -Mary Gates