It’s been only three days since our pilgrimage began and yet so much has happened. Thirty-five people who were only names on a roster have become formed together in a beautiful group with a shared memory. Our common bond as sisters and brothers of a shared experience of soldiers, sailors and marines has been the catalyst. Already there’s a kinship kindled and this unique group have become a band of sisters and brothers. There have been some highlights already for me. Yesterday at St. Peter’s I was overcome with the joy of the journey. Standing near the tomb of St. Peter and gazing as sunlight streamed through the windows I was overcome with a sense of awe and beauty. I knelt at “Peter’s Pence” facing the main altar and remembered our grandson Theo in prayer as well as his parents. I prayed for my brothers and sisters and their families as well as all creation. I wondered in the presence of the Holy Spirit that filled this place whether it would allow the destruction of our world with the climate crisis. I prayed for peace and felt a sense of hope and peace that surpassed my understanding. Perhaps my experience was more poignant having survived a pulmonary embolism last year. That’s certainly been on my mind. I’m grateful we got to share the Eucharist in this holy place. Pilgrimage is much different than a vacation. It’s been a time of restful, peaceful solitude. It’s been a balm for my soul.
Today we begin the day with Eucharist here at Casa Tra Nois in Rome and then we’re off to Assisi wandering through the Rieti Valley with stops in Poggio Bustone and Greccio I’ll have many wonderful memories of Rome among them our shared moments of peace, reflection and laughter. This has been the bona venture, the good journey of peace