Wednesday, January 2, 2008

January 2, 2008

January 2, 2008
+ Basil & Gregory Nazianzen

ROME – 2:16 PM

We’re here – praise GOD, thank you JESUS! After spending a full day at Philadelphia International, Sister Veronica and I caught the 6:10 PM flight to Rome. It was a full flight…lots of folks returning home so we heard our first bit of Italian in the air. Several very little people who did not like being on a plane one bit! Poor little things…eight hours is a lot for grown-ups. Sister Veronica fell asleep after the first movie. I, on the other hand, couldn’t figure out how to make my seat recline, so I bobbed and shifted much of the way.
We chased the sunrise to its source and arrived at Da Vinci Airport at 8:20 AM, Rome time. For our bodies, it was 2:20 AM. Needless to say, we moved through the passport control station in a bit of a fog. It took an hour before we saw signs of our baggage. But, it arrived, too, without a hitch. It amazes me how we can move through time and over oceans and come out in one piece at the end of the journey.
We were greeted by the most hospitable Benedictine sisters at the Casa (Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing, Germany, who are our hosts for the program.) Our instructor, Sister Aquinata, embraced us both and welcomed us into the first day of class. Fortunately, we missed only the “introduce yourself” portion of the morning and were able to slide in and get with the program.
We are 28 participants from all over the Benedictine world: Bulgaria, Korea, Manila, Nairobi, Uganda, the United States, Australia, Jerusalem, and, believe it or not, Ndanda, Tanzania! Here, it is a very small Benedictine world! Sister Veronica and I are the youngest in rank. It’s harder to tell if we’re the youngest in age – Benedictines never look as old as they are!
I’m tired…deep-down, inside-out tired! I’ve unpacked and figured out how to flush the toilet (I know, over-sharing!) The power adapters Sister Veronica purchased seem to work just fine with the laptop, for which I am truly thankful. I’ll stay awake until COMPLINE at 19:30 (that’s 7:30 PM for North American monastics.) Then, a deep sleep that will realign the body clock a bit. Love to you all…Sisters, friends, family, SGHS students and faculty…keep us in your prayers. -------- Sister Vicki