Photo by Andrea Ranalli
This is the 2015 blog for our Saint Mary’s College pilgrimage to Rome. We are present-day pilgrims walking in the footsteps of the early Christians. As an example of “backpack journalism,” this website gives you a chance to hear our stories, conversations, and insights; along with a viewing of our photos and videos of this remarkable experience. Send us a comment and we’ll pray for you!
Our student-produced radio show is airing on npr.org. CLICK HERE TO HEAR!
Please also read our articles in The East Bay Monthly, The Catholic Voice and The Catholic News Herald
Fans started queuing up well before dawn. They rushed the gate when it opened, hoping to secure a seat near this man who has burst onto the world stage. Pope Francis is a rock star. His picture is plastered all across Italy and his Wednesday Papal Audiences are a hot ticket in Rome. Continue reading
Saint Therese never fails me! The beautiful saint of the late nineteenth century who wrote that she would spend her time in Heaven doing good upon Earth has been a patron and friend of mine for years now. I have often prayed to her to intercede to God for me for various occasions and circumstances. Continue reading
Photo by Nataly Sanchez
I have long searched for Christ in my life and I struggle with practicing religion. Yet, I chose to go on a pilgrimage to Rome with 16 other students, a journalist, and two priests. I have not been doing anything relatively religious since I started college, with the exception of Ash Wednesday and Easter mass. Even then, I was waiting for the mass to be over with so I could go on with my schoolwork or see a friend.
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God? …It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants.” (Mark 4:26) Continue reading
This pilgrimage has been full of wonderful people, impeccable food, creamy gelato, and LOTS of walking. In the midst of these lovely elements, enriching our faith has been the main focus. I can’t find the words to describe how amazing it has been to celebrate mass and nurture our faith in ancient churches where apostles and saints are buried.
Photo by Anthony Oliveira
My life is complete. I just saw my favorite art piece, Bernini’s The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. After a delicious lunch of caprese salad and espresso, Anthony, a fellow pilgrim, and I hopped into the rain on a mission. We were headed to the Santa Maria Della Vittoria which houses Bernini’s famous sculpture. Continue reading
Photo by Meaghan Osborne
I consider wine to be a food group, which is why I blend in with Italians. Wine is part of the meal and to exclude it would cheapen the dining experience. Even Jesus enjoyed wine with his friends. Continue reading
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Saint Agnes is that she was martyred at the young age of twelve or thirteen. The legends say that she rejected a marriage proposal because of her devotion to faith and the slighted man reported to authorities that she was a Christian. Continue reading
Rome is, itself, a paradox. Ancient basilicas stand guard as monuments to Christianity, even as sirens and car horns remind us that peace can be fleeting.
Still, it is possible to find. In an era where war tears at so many countries, record numbers of people are making pilgrimages; one in three according to the United Nations. Continue reading