Let Us Be Saints!
Last January I had the great joy of traveling to Italy on tour with the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble.  We had a grand time playing five concerts and visiting Sicily, Venice, and Rome.  Our two days in Rome were enough to make me fall in love with the city and make me want to come back.  In fact, studying abroad in Rome has been a goal of mine since my junior year of high school when I set my eyes on the Catholic Studies program at St. Thomas. 

The Trevi Fountain, the largest baroque fountain in the world, is a famous landmark within the city.  Legend has it that anyone who tosses a coin into the fountain will return to Rome someday.  An estimated 3,000 euros are tossed into the fountain each day and the money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for the poor in Rome.  I was sure to toss my coin while in the Eternal City (see the photo for proof!) and sure enough, I am going back!  Praise God!

Now my bags are nearly packed (my bathroom scale has been busy as I attempt to keep my suitcase under 50 pounds) and my departure draws near!  TOMORROW I AM GOING BACK TO ROME!!!  It started to hit me when we had meetings with our group of 30 students  or when we had Study Abroad Orientation, but until I actually set foot on that plane tomorrow I think I am still in somewhat of a dream.  

I am just ecstatic for so many things about this semester...experiencing the Universal Church in all its splendor, seeing our Holy Father, exploring the Eternal City and other parts of Italy and Europe, taking incredible courses from amazing professors at the Angelicum, building community at the Bernardi Residence, using the Italian I know and learning more, and growing in my faith.  Yes, there are some nerves there, such as worrying about my baggage arriving and the jet lag factor or getting pick-pocketed, but ultimately, my excitement outweighs my apprehensions. 

We will have many guides along our journey, including Thanos, the director of the Bernardi Residence; Fr. Carola, the chaplain for Bernardi; and two students who are staying for the whole year and have thus been in Rome for a semester already.  Ultimately, the Lord will provide for us and has many wonderful blessings in store for all members of our group! 

Please  keep us in prayer as we are "leavin on a jet plane" tomorrow, especially with the recent blizzards and our connection in New York.  Know that you are in my prayers as well!   I hope to keep you posted, through weekly blog updates, on my daily life and adventures as I spend the next four months overseas.  For now, arrivederci (good bye) and the next time I write it will be from ROMA!!!

Lizzy !
2/3/2011 10:54:18 am

We love and miss you Paula!!! GIANT NIGHT HUG. Can't wait to hear about your flight. And getting to Bernardi. And everything. We love you soooo soooo sooooo soooo (infinity) much. Prayers always.


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