I grew up number three in a family of seven children. My parents met as students at Franciscan, married, and never left. I’ve always thought of myself as a ‘traditional Catholic”—no hand-raising, speaking in tongues, etc. All that was somewhat foreign, even though, as kids, we saw a great deal of charismatic worship on campus.
Standing in the middle of the hallway of Franciscan University’s academic building, Egan Hall, I found myself with eyes closed, hands folded, and praying with a complete stranger. Two of my household sisters were next to me, but I still couldn’t get past the fact that it was normal to pray in public with someone I didn’t know.
In casual conversations with friends at Franciscan, you’ll often hear stories about saints with crazy heroic virtue. Francis of Assisi threw himself into thorns at the first inkling of temptation. Teresa of Avila levitated during her deep conversations and unions with the Lord. Padre Pio, well, Padre Pio once woke up…
Whenever you enter a new environment or a new culture, it can take time to adjust. Thankfully, one of Franciscan University’s households helped me to navigate this time of adjustment.
We ran into this unexpected lake and stunning location on our way from Hallstatt to Linz! A few of us were even brave enough to jump into the freezing cold water.
A day packed full of adventure and exploring! This is Slovenia’s famous gorge that is held to be one of the most beautiful in Europe!
Rome was spectacular, but Assisi was something different. It was overwhelmingly beautiful and peaceful. I definitely will return some day!
In New Hampshire, my backyard has a shed, a pool, a large grassy area, a tree with a swing…things that are ordinary for a backyard to have. So far, the places I’ve stayed in Europe have had extraordinary backyards, with astounding nature and famous historical sights to replace the ordinary.