Return to Italy
I had the great privilege some 5 years ago to host a young French seminarian of the Institute of Christ the King in our home. He was here for the priestly ordination of two of his classmates here in St Louis. They had the ordination locally because the priests-to-be were Americans.
Fast forward a few years….he and I kept in touch. It was then his turn for ordination. However, it was not going to be local…you see, his seminary is overseas…in Italy! He invited me to come but with only about 5 weeks lead time. His superiors decided to ordain him earlier than the original plan for the following summer. He was as surprised as I was.
Since it came out of the blue, I was not fully prepared. My passport had expired. I had not scheduled any time off at work. I was not planning to go although I really wanted to. We could not all go as a family since there would have been no way to have afforded it. But my wife and I talked about this. She insisted that I go to represent the family, so I decided to go…alone. (so I booked the trip ASAP before she would change her mind! 🙂 ). I have travelled domestically for work numerous times but have not been overseas since high school when we went to London. So this posed to be a new adventure.
It was a fabulous trip. I saw some of Rome and a lot of Florence. I was able to stay at his seminary near Florence and visit with several other American seminarians whom I know as they’ve passed through St Francis de Sales Oratory as part of their formation.
Why do I want to go back and probably keep it on the bucket list indefinitely? Well for many reasons, most important is that I owe my wife BIG TIME for her support of the solo trip. It was a beautiful country and has so much to explore and so much good wine to drink! And I also need to thank Bambino Gesu for bringing us our 6th child Mr. Flip. (more on him another day)
Where would you want to go many times?