Well, it actually happened, surprising those skeptics among us. It required a monumental push, including some triage-like decisions at the end. We were determined to not miss the plane, as has happened before. At the final hour, our house finally looked empty enough to leave, and our various pieces of luggage each managed to meet the 50 pound weight limit.
Our first stop was South Bend, where we off-loaded much of our kitchen’s pantry on to Claire. We said goodbye to John and then drove on to O’Hare. It was surprisingly difficult to say goodbye. Our flight was ovenight to Copenhagen and then on to Rome. Our travels occurred without a hitch, unless you count our sleepless night and the absence of complimentary water on the second flight. Diggy and Sr. Angela perfectly coordinated our pickup at FCO, including loading our massive amount of luggage into an Italian-sized station-wagon, similar to a Subaru Outback.
The photos are taken of what will be our home for the next two months during our stay in Rome. We are situated in the VOICA house on the grounds of the Canossian convent, about a 20 minute walk west of St Peter’s. An added blessing is that the property is next to a huge park that Rory ran in this morning.
We jumped right into formation on Monday with a moving visit, indeed a commencement, at St. Peter’s. We had time for a short nap and then on to what will become a weekly soup kitchen stint at the Roma Caritas, near the Termini. A standout feature of the evening was the bus ride there and back. Bus 64, which handles the route between St.Peter’s and the Termini, included the following: wedging room only, with new passengers to take on at every stop, and no AC. We were glad to hit the fresh air, I can tell you. At the soup kitchen, I did bread and Rory handed out fruit and parmesan. It would have been nice to talk with the nearly 400 people who showed up, as there were many comments in Italian (including compliments to Rory, ravishing in her hairnet and plastic apron.)
All in all, God is good and we are having a wonderful beginning to this adventure. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. (posted by David)
Rory here. And now for a little Italian flavor regarding events! Life is very good, more than good here in Rome. To wake up to an immediate visit to St. Peter’s on Monday morning and to end at a soup kitchen with three hours of standing behind the fruit (I learned the Italian for plums, peaches and apples and that the spot I took normally was the salt station which lead to much consternation by its absence and much gesticulation on my part to say that we were out, fini, kaput, nothing), was much more than I could possibly have imagined. Needless to say, having not recovered yet from jet lag, we were exhausted. But it was all good. Our second day (can that be possible?) we have made the walk to the local markets and food stores that will become essential to our daily lives here. We share food expenses, cooking, cleanup and household chores with two lovely American women, Katie and Megan, and the lay leader, Diggy, who has many and fascinating stories to tell of her life of faith. We have also had our first real formation meeting, including a beneficial airing of views (younger women care about night life in ways that old people do not). Enough for now. Please write and pray for us!