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All Roads…

November 3, 2012

There was a time when almost the entire known world was connected to a single point, the city of Rome. While it might not be true that “all roads lead to Rome” any more, it is true that the road (or sequence of flights) that I’m on will end up in the celestial city sometime tomorrow.

Via the beauty of technology, I write these words from high over the Atlantic Ocean, just hours into my voyage to Rome. I was invited on this trip many months ago by my Father-in-law, Waldo. We are joined by Fr. Jorge, a Dominican priest serving at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Parish in Lubbock, as well as Juan and Jeff, two deacons in the Lubbock Diocese.

Many have asked why me why I’m making the trip to Rome. Obviously, any opportunity to see another part of the world is a perk, and I hope to always be able to enjoy such joys. But, as I reflect on the deeper question of “why,” there are some recurring thoughts that come to mind.

Over the last few days, the church has celebrated the feast of all saints and all souls days. Each year we are given the gift of these celebrations to be reminded of our unity with the church in heaven as we continue our pilgrimage of faith here on earth. My hope for this trip is that I feel the connection to the universal Church on earth more profoundly. I look forward to standing in St. Peter’s square with fellow believers, in the steps of so many pilgrims who have gone before me.

As American Catholics it’s easy for us to feel disconnected from the universal church, to feel like we’re on our own little island, so far removed from the “center” of the church in Rome. I know there’s no “magic” that makes Rome a more special place to pray or celebrate the true presence of Christ. But, in it I hope to take a moments pause from all life’s wonderful, beautiful obligations to draw closer to the history and present moment in the life of the church in the world.

Thanks to my amazing wife, Michelle, for the sacrifices she’s making to allow me to make this trip. To Vicki, Michelle’s mom, for lending a helping hand with the kids. And, to Waldo, for making the entire trip possible. I look forward to sharing glimpses of the trip with you all via ThisPilgrimsProgress.com. Subscribe or check back over the next week for more.

God bless you fellow pilgrims!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    November 3, 2012 10:29 pm

    Have a safe trip! I know you’ll have an incredible experience. I know I was in complete awe of the time I spent in the Vatican City (and the rest of Rome, naturally).

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