Students and alumni from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., traveled to Italy earlier this summer for a “pilgrimage of faith,” reports the University. Led by Fr. Brian Nolan, the University chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, the group traveled through Rome and Assisi visiting important historical sites and “icons of the Catholic faith.” The week-long experience helped students to come “face-to-face” with their faith and grow in it.
“During a time when many individuals are questioning their faith and its purpose, it was inspiring to witness our students make powerful connections to their faith and deepen their relationship with God,” said Fr. Brian.
“Going places where the Apostles and church fathers walked and where martyrs died was truly amazing,” said recent alumna Jessica DuBois, C’13, on the Mount’s website. “It made everything I know about the Catholic Church feel so real and tangible to me, and it renewed my belief that our church is how God reveals himself to us.”
Other students also reflected on trip highlights. “The trip was filled with the ‘three F's: faith, food, and fun,” said Megumi Madura, C’16. “We… had the privilege of attending the Papal General Audience, where we were able to see Pope Francis. Pope Francis passed by our group twice.”
Matt Palardy, C’15, said, “Visiting the San Damiano Cross in Assisi was most-impactful…This cross has always had a profound meaning to me - I received a San Damiano necklace after my first experience of true faith, and it has accompanied me on my faith journey since.”
“Having mass in the catacombs of the Vatican was a really powerful experience,” David Cupps, C’15, related. “Celebrating mass while there were a bunch of masses being said in different languages at the same time in the other chapels really made me realize the universality of the Church, and the fact that somewhere in some language the holy mass is always being celebrated.”
“This journey also showed us that we do not practice a faith limited to our own parish or campus but we are all connected globally,” said Fr. Brian.
Mount St. Mary’s University is recommend in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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