Wednesday afternoon greetings from a very rainy and stormy Chicago.
For the past several years, I have been privileged to lead the music for two annual retreats of U.S. Army Chaplains, one here in the United States and another in Europe. I was scheduled to be in Germany over the next few weeks for the retreat but the funding for this retreat was rescinded and so the it will not be taking place. As part of my trip to Europe, I had planned to spend ten days in northern Italy on vacation. Well, that vacation has been extended now because the retreat is not happening. I feel very blessed right now.
Several years ago, I helped lead a pilgrimage through Italy that was sponsored by the North American Forum on the Catechumenate. We visited fonts and baptisteries in Florence, Milan, Padua, Trieste, Grado, Aquileia, and Rome. I have been wanting to lead another pilgrimage that would expand into other cities, seeing other significant baptisteries and fonts. So for the next two weeks, I will be scoping out baptisteries in the cities of Verona, Ravenna, Parma, Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, Pistoia, and the areas around Udine.
My hope is to be able to lead a pilgrimage to Italy in November, 2014. It will focus on major baptism sites and will be an opportunity for pilgrims to reflect deeply on the meaning of baptism as we explore the riches of the art and architecture that has been created to honor this sacrament of initiation.
I plan to take you along with me in the next few weeks as I travel throughout the various areas. I will post photos and my own commentary. Many of you have told me that you enjoy visiting these kinds of places, virtually, through this blog.
Once I return, I will be speaking with the Catholic travel agency I would like to work with, iron out the plan, and then begin sharing details.
Please pray for the safety of travelers in the coming days.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.