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Bucket List

 

My Bucket List

 

I’ve wanted to participate in the Franciscan Study Pilgrimage for a long time now.  You can say, it’s been on My Bucket List.  I thought I’d have the opportunity to participate at long last in this three week long retreat when I celebrated my 20th Anniversary as a priest in 2011.  But, for reasons both personal and professional, this was not to be.  Well, I’m thrilled to say, this year I’m finally going to have this blessed opportunity.

 I’m participating in the Franciscan Study Pilgrimage/Retreat September 13 – October 7, 2013.  The pilgrimage is to Rome and Assisi, Italy, visiting the main shrines associated with St. Francis of Assisi.  

 This will be a trip of a lifetime – a time of travel, prayer, reflection, silence, solitude, community, learning, sharing; and of experiencing Franciscan spirituality.  

 What is more, just by coincidence, Pope Francis is also going to be in Assisi for the celebration of the St. Francis’ Feast Day on October 4th.  How exciting is that?!?!  Being in Assisi for the Holy Father’s visit – on the feast of St. Francis, no less – only adds to the gratitude I feel at being able to participate in this pilgrimage.  

 I’m traveling with two of my priest friends, Father Martin Kern and Father Bill Murphy; we will be joining a group from all over the United States and several other countries.  The pilgrimage is being led by two OFM Friars and one Poor Clare Nun.  

 I will be praying for all of you when I’m on this Pilgrimage.  

 While I’m away, Father Charles Noone, a retired priest of the Archdiocese will be filling in for me.  Father Noone is a good priest and a nice man – I feel confident, I’m leaving you in good hands.