Saturday, October 22, 2016

Steubenville - God is on this campus -

A small and poor town in a rural eastern Ohio, which not many have even heard of, is home to a wonderful catholic university.  Emanuela and I paid an overnight visit to Franciscan University of Steubenville last week. It was a touching experience.
God is present on this campus and we hope that you will feel that today, told us the Admission representative on a foggy Midwestern morning at the beginning of our tour.  He saw right... We both felt a joy and a spiritual energy and strength while we were there that is difficult to describe. I wish our whole family could enjoy such beauty more often.  Thank you Steubenville and all those that helped make our visit so unique.

Porziuncola chapel of Perpetual Eucharistic adoration

Parting shot.... I hope we can come back again.

Enjoy a full view of this campus on this video:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mount Evans

August 20 - A chilly, windy morning, a sea of clouds below 10 thousands feet, a clear sky above, and a trail covered with frost and a snow dusting.

Thank you Pietro for getting up early and hiking to the top with me. I love you.
Now, let's walk together through this school year and run some cross county together, just as St. Paul said: "I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith".  It is not easy to run to the finish, but we can do it. I am grateful you are enjoying running, which has been such a relevant part of my life when I was your age.  I now jog for a different reason than when I was younger, but running still teaches me to endure, to try again after a mistake, to accept pain, to focus, to listen to what your body is telling me. I hope you will learn that as well, because it s a reflection of life. God speaks in the silence and stillness, similarly to the stillness within that you sometime can experience when you run.

Your dad.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The start of a new pilgrimage?

They say life is a journey, yet, as I grow older, I am thinking of life more as a pilgrimage.
The word pilgrimage indicates that the goal is spiritual, the road at times arduous and the pace reflective.
We traveled to Rome this summer to walk through the Holy Doors. It was a wonderful experience, but did not feel as a pilgrimage. Maybe because we were on vacation, maybe because we were exhausted from the extra long trip we took this time and the new responsibilities that we had to face just before leaving...

So, before the Year of Mercy ends I felt called to start a  true, albeit local, pilgrimage. The goal is to visit all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Denver and spend some time in Eucharistic Adoration, where that is available. The idea is to walk, jog, bike or get to my destinations.
I am not sure if and when I will be able to finish. I am going to let God's lead the way and not worry.

Today (August 10, 2016) that pilgrimage started. With Norine, Emma, Pietro and Paolo, I took the light-rail to downtown Denver and then walked to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Holy Ghost and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. We spent some Adoration time at Holy Ghost (available between 7:30AM and 3:30PM every day).

Itinerary of Day 1

Catholic is fun.


Can you read the year in Latin numbers? MCMXXIV

Statue of St. John Paul II at the Cathedral - JPII, pray for us

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver

Station of the Cross at the Cathedral

Stainglass window at the Cathedral

The highlights:
- Meeting Fr. Jeremy Paulin at Holy Ghost and sharing stories about Rome and a selfie with Pope Francis (see Facebook)
- (Part of) my family starting on this road with me. Thank you!
- discussing with the children about Jesus and the disciples walking together for 3 years. Was one of them always ahead and another always the "slow-poke"? Did they laugh or joke along the way?
- The slurpee at the 7-Eleven that was not there.... A nice refreshing break on a hot Denver day (93 F today)
- The peace that God in the Eucharist can bring even in the midst of noise and crowds, if we stop and listen.
- Wearing the Canada shirt. Almost any stranger I talk to asks me if we are from Canada... Today somebody said: "I like Canadians, they are nice people".

Reflections about the journey, walking downtown and the reasons behind the pilgrimage I will leave for Day 2. That's my incentive to get out there again

Holy Ghost parish in Denver

The altar and Blessed Sacrament at Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

With Fr. Jeremy and #Flat Francis at Holy Ghost

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Denver

Stainglass window at St. Elizabeth

Stations of the cross at St. Elizabeth

With #FlatFrancis at St. Elizabeth

Three churches down, 139 to go:
(Total time 2:45 minutes approx. , walked 2.4 miles, 30 minutes of Eucharistic Adoration, temp: 93 F)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Birthday gift...

My second 14er, mt Democrat:

It was more than a week ago, but I still want to post this.
4AM alarm. International hiking team: Enrico and Isabella (Italian-American), Agustin and children (Mexican-American), Eric (American) and Kamile (Uyghur)
It's a long drive to Alma, Colorado (past Fairplay). We get to the trail-head at 6:30AM.
The hike is not too long but steep.
Columbines welcome us. It will be a good day!

Columbines - Colorado state flower

going up with Kite Lake in the background

I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
From whence shall come my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip

Do I really believe that? It is easy to say "God will come to my help" when everything is fine and life is good, but to believe the statement when things are not going well it's a different thing. I am trying, but I am not there yet.    So, as I am hiking with some back pain, I think of all the people we know that need prayers because they are suffering physically or emotionally.  There seem to be so many. More than I can truly remember to pray for each day. That is way we have a prayer list in our rosary basket. I put them in your hands Lord. Help them feel your loving presence, We can't do it down here without your help.

Climbing with #FlatFrancis

On the top with my favorite hiking buddy

On the top with #FlatFrancis
Thank you for hiking with me Isabella on my birthday. I love being with you and I love that we share the love for the outdoor and for God's creation and his church!

Agustin on his first 14er
Congratulations, my friend for trying something new and challenging. Let's do one more before the summer is over.

Our team


an idea of the incline

For those of you that do not know what a 14er is, take a look here: