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Students Inspired by Pilgrimage

Ten Lourdes High School students and two faculty embarked on an eight-day pilgrimage beginning in Assisi, Italy, on December 27. The group visited places influential in the lifetime conversions of St. Francis and St. Clare and important to the development of the Franciscan tradition. They also traveled to Rome to visit the Vatican and other important sites of Franciscan experience.

One of the students who attended, Sam Boes, remembers his favorite experience as a moment of unity. “As we began celebrating Mass, other international pilgrims and local Italians wandered into the chapel and joined us,” he said. “Brother Gilberto, our guide and celebrant, adjusted the Mass, combining Italian, Latin, and English to welcome all the others into our mass,” he added. “It was amazing to celebrate something so central to Catholicism with others from around the world so unexpectedly.”

Mr. Bob Gardner teaches the elective course, Franciscan Foundations, which prepares senior students for the pilgrimage. “I love to observe the student and adult pilgrims who are having the experience for the very first time,” he said. “It's been my privilege to feel quite ‘at home’ in Assisi by now, so I appreciate that immensely, along with that opportunity of gaining new perspective from others' experience.”