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“Theurgy” – Week III

“Theurgy” – Week III

St. Ignatius of Loyola Chapel Mass
St. Ignatius of Loyola Chapel Mass

“Theurgy” : the working of a divine or supernatural agency in human affairs.

I felt this word was appropriate for Week III seeing as JFRC organized a phenomenal mass at the St. Ignatius Church in downtown Rome for all of us students. Although I come from a religious background, having been a Lutheran since baptism and having read the bible over multiple times, I would not consider myself a religious person at the moment. Some would say I am a “lost soul,” I would just say I am enjoying the adventure of spirituality. Yet even being a self-proclaimed “agnostic” for lack of a better term, I still felt a sense of “theurgy” when entering into the church. I had been a part of Catholic masses as a child when I went with friends, but otherwise I knew the Lutheran faith much better. Being able to participate in such a sacred ceremony, in such a sacred place with members of the JFRC (including our own SURPRISE Father Michael Garanzini) added a little flavoring to my life in Rome.

Afterwards we also enjoyed a divine (get it?) dinner at one of the local restaurants that SLA Russell told me was a favorite of all of the employees of JFRC. When I get the name of it from one of the SLA’s I will let you all know so if you come to Rome you can go there. My favorite dish by far was their pear pasta. I know you may be giving me a look of disgust when reading that, but trust me, the Italians know how to make food.

The rest of the week took on it’s normal routine with classes and then trips to the piazza outside of the Vatican at night and walks around places such as Campo di Fiori and Piazza Novana (pictured below).

Piazza Novana
Piazza Novana

 

BY THE WAY, SIDE NOTE: All of these pictures have been taken by yours truly, so don’t think I am just kidding when I say I have visited every one of these places.

Anyways, then comes the most enjoyable part of the week, the weekend!

I and 10 of my companions traveled to the Amalfi Coast, where we stayed in a small hostel in Atrani. Now, many people were skeptical of the fact that 10 of us were traveling such a long way together, but let me give you some advice for your future travels – DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT TO YOU. 10 people was not too many for our group, because we were all close friends and we knew how to make the best of every situation. At times it was nice to split off into small groups to go see different sites or to eat at different tables at restaurants, but just remember you can do anything you want when traveling as long as you have that gut feeling that it will be okay. Trust. The. Gut.

Atrani, Amalfi Coast
Atrani, Amalfi Coast

Anyways, we had some amazing experiences traveling around the Amalfi Coast by walk, boat and bus. Even our experiences getting to and from the coast were a trip. We had to take two trains and a bus to get there and back, and let me tell you it was not as simple as one might think. At the bus stop right after our second bus we met a little woman who called herself our “nonna” (grandma) and helped us find our way to our final destination. Just speaking the crude Italian we knew we were able to get to know some of the locals in the area and that had to be the best part out of all!

Our last night in Atrani was probably the most enjoyable. We ate at a small restaurant called “Taverna degli Apostoli” where the son and his mother cooked all 10 of us a special meal inside. All 10 of us drank wine, ate pasta and really bonded over the important things in life. We played a question and answer game where everyone had to go around the table and answer various questions such as “Who is your idol and why,” and “What is your biggest fear in life?” Afterwards we headed to the main steps in the downtown area where we met some local kids and taught them some of the English language. Finally, a small group of 5 of us called a bus from a dance club called “Africana” located about 40 minutes north of Atrani and headed there for the night.

Now, if you don’t like an older and more mature crowd, this place was not for you. Luckily my 5 friends and I were ready to meet important people from around the globe, so we had a blast! My friend Stratton and I met our future selves – Brian and his intern who were working for some big business located in California. We exchanged emails and we now have a new connection in the business world for later in life! This exemplified what Susanna had said earlier to me in the semester when I asked her, “How do you become the successful person that you are?” She replied “Never stop talking to people.”

Simple, but true. Always be open to those around you.

Now, finally, for all of you wishing to travel to the Amalfi Coast some day, here is a word of advice – only take the amount of money you will need because there are pick-pocketers in the region and they are very crafty!

On the way home we picked up some McDonalds at the train station because it was the only food we could find that was still open. It did not make me miss America. Stick to the Italian food when you’re in Italy.

Cheers!
Megan

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