Each semester the study abroad program offers the students a chance to attend a 10-day pilgrimage to Rome, the heart of the Catholic Church, and Assisi, the home of our school’s patron St. Francis. The first half of the pilgrimage is spent in Rome.
Europe is, to sum it up in one word, grand. We have gone on school excursions to Melk, Salzburg and Vienna. The cities are full of churches that tower over the sky line and palaces that stretch into the horizon. Gaming, though itself is small, is situated in the middle of the mountains, which tower over the town below.
It’s been about three weeks now since stepping off of the bus and feeling the gravel of the Kartause courtyard under my boots for the first time. But the feeling of those little pebbles underfoot is becoming more and more familiar now with each walk to class, or Mass, or off for an adventure.
This Gospel story is the underlying theme of my life as of late. On January 23, I lugged my bags out of the trunk of our family car, gave my parents a tearful goodbye hug, and walked through the sliding glass doors of the Pittsburgh airport ready to take the Lord’s hand and follow Him wherever He would lead me.
“Are you excited!?” This question has been ringing in my ears for almost the whole semester now, whenever it comes up in conversation that I’ll be leaving to study abroad in Austria this January. Usually, I respond with a toothy grin and an “I seriously cannot wait.” And it’s true, I am excited. I can barely wait.