Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Highlights of Lent/Easter 2009 - Rome, Madrid, Switzerland -

I am in the city of Madrid on a sort of RETREAT. I am looking over the sanctuary of a beautiful Church where my room has a sort of secret door that can be opened to this holy beauty. I participated in the Holy Week procession of the World Youth Day cross thru the streets of Madrid.
While in Madrid I also was asked to sing the Great EXSULTET at the Easter Vigil.... aka El Pregon Pascual. First off I was asked to do it in Spanish, secondly to Sing it. But at the last second a professional showed up. Nonetheless I rehearsed and rehearsed and here is what it is suppose to sound like in ENGLISH and another one in SPANISH, I will stay in Madrid on retreat with some occasional work in preparation for World Youth Day Madrid 2011
Before Madrid I made some family visits to Milan and surrounding areas. It was a gorgeous train ride and wonderful time with family. (totally providentially, I was clueless that it was the anniversary) But when I arrived in Rome I went straight to the MASS honoring the death of Pope John Paul II. It was celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI and maybe 5 Bishops, a lot of Cardinals and many Priests and Pilgrims from around the world. There were rumors that he would be beatified there; but no luck. After this I was part of an audience with the Holy Father and the Diocese of Madrid. As well as PALM Sunday Mass with the Pope and the exchanging of the World Youth Day cross from the Diocese of Sydney, Australia, and Madrid, Spain.
I was invited to see the famous city of POMPEII, in August 24, 79 A.D. the city was buried by the eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius. Most people fled the eruption at the start, but an estimated 2000 people were buried in the eruption along with the city. Pompeii was buried under some 25 feet of volcanic material which preserved it. Now it is a archeological and tourist site to see an ancient Roman City still preserved and continually more is being discovered. I also got to visit the neighboring town of NAPLES
Before Rome I was on a 21 day adventure in Switzerland. Upon arriving I was promptly given a hat that said "I Like Switzerland" (it's cool). I also received my schedule for the next 17 days. It was filled with over
30 talks/retreats at parishes, schools, monasteries, radio stations and praye groups all over Switzerland. The main event is giving 2 talks at their annual World Youth Day, not to be confused with the international gathering that happens every three with the Pope. The mission was excellent, the feedback was touching, and the views were outstanding.
As a result of this trip, possibilities have arisen to go to Germany, Austria, and Poland. As usual, wherever the next trip, the mission is "ALL FOR THE GREATER GLORY of GOD"... "FIND A NEED, FILL A NEED", and it will be at the service of the Jesus Christ, His Good News of Salvation, and His Church on Earth. Doing it all abandoned to the Providence and Will of God. To be prayerful, and frequenting the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession frequently. So we'll see what comes next. Wherever it is, it will involve the faith and technology... "the Techno Missionary" as some say.. ha! I think that's funny. Sounds catchy though. I look forward to sharing the adventures, glory stories and memorable moments with you that will surely ensue in these next few weeks or months.