Sr. Mary Joseph and I, Sr. Mary Michael, had the pleasure of spending a week in Rome this past September. Picture 1 - Isn't St. Peter's beautiful! Why the trip, you ask? Our congregation was having a meeting of formators (those involved in forming our postulants and novices). We stayed at our convent in Monte Mario (a suburb of Rome). Picture 2 - Our convent chapel. The home there is actually a pilgrim house. So, if you pass through one day, you can stay with our Sisters! Picture 3 - All of our Sisters in for the occasion, from Croatia, Netherlands, Brazil, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and our Superior General and General Council members.
One of the most exciting parts of the trip was getting to see the church called Maria della Scalla - picture 4. The entire Church is very Carmelite (which I was unaware of), but in the back left corner there is a gorgeous side chapel that contains a relic of the foot of St. Teresa of Avila...and we're not just talking a little chip of a foot. We're talking a foot! Picture 5 - You can see it in the picture, as it's the foot shaped darker spot standing atop the pedestal above the sanctuary. Our foundress actually prayed many times in this little chapel before this relic when attempting to establish our congregation. It was such a grace to walk in and fall to my knees at the kneeler, knowing she likely knelt at the spot a century ago pouring out her heart to our Lord and St. Mother Teresa (as we call her), longing to be one of her daughters in Carmel.
Picture 6 - Randomly running into our friend, His Eminence, Cardinal Burke on a street corner was also a treat and wonder of God's providence. As the week progressed, St. Peter's, became the one spot that we knew how to get to and from by heart-without a need for google maps. If we could make it to St. Peter's, we knew we could make it back to the convent. Piazza di San Pietro really did come to feel so familiar, so comfortable, so much like...home. It was an incredible experience!