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Our Franciscan Pilgrimage
By Sandi Vandermosten (Health Teacher at SFP) and Ellen Schuler (Math Teacher at SFP)
It was just 2 days after the last day of school, and we found ourselves boarding a flight to Rome, the first leg of our Franciscan Pilgrimage. Upon our arrival, we were met by our Pilgrim leaders: Brother Tom, Sister Nancy and Fr. Greg. Soon we met the other 23 pilgrims. There were a number of teachers, married couples, Franciscan workers from Ohio, a young man and woman from Michigan, a couple from Hawaii, and three sisters from Cameroon. These special nuns had never left their country before, and two of them were over 70 years old.
This amazing trip brought together 28 uniquely different people from all over the world with the intention to learn more about Francis and Clare. We all experienced a different journey and has instilled it in our lives with the intention to share its message with their communities.
We were particularly fascinated by St. Clare and enjoyed learning about her journey as a young woman following Francis. Her story showed the strength, determination, and dedication of women. This was reflected everyday by the sisters of Cameroon walking miles in excessive heat, without a complaint, all in the name of Jesus. Many of our students also have difficult paths to follow.
In beautiful Assisi, we spoke about the environment and how important it was to Francis and to us now. Brother Tom spoke about Franciscans having a passion. This evoked a passion within us.
Conservation and recycling are two that we are trying to instill in our students by installing the recycling machine in the cafeteria.
The trip was historical, exhausting, entertaining, educational, and emotional. We were 4 feet from the Pope; we had our own Mass in the Vatican and ate enough gelato for a year. The sisters were singing and dancing on the mountain top; we crawled through the caves where St. Francis lived and immersed ourselves in the sunlight of God.
This trip has made us more prayerful, peaceful, and patient. And we are better teachers because of it.
|Sandi Vandermosten (Health Teacher at SFP)||Ellen Schuler (Math Teacher at SFP)|
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