Dear Fellow Adventurer,
For most of my adult life, I dreamed of going to Italy. I wanted to pray in St. Peter’s Basilica. I wanted to know the country of my grandfather’s birth. I wanted to eat the delicious food that had inspired so many family meals when I was growing up. Three years ago, when I stepped onto the streets of Rome for the first time, I cried from the sheer joy of being there, and I knew right then that I’d have to return some day soon. Italy had captured my heart! Read more
I’m not much of a camper. I chalk it up to traumatic Girl Scout experiences as a kid — think rain, mud, latrine duty, French toast cooked over a coffee can. But as I write this column, I am simultaneously washing my winter sleeping bag in anticipation of a weekend camping retreat at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, N.Y., with Noah’s Boy Scout troop. And I’m actually looking forward to it. Read more
Two years ago at this time I was in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rome. Soon after, I wrote this travel story for the Albany Times Union. It is my love letter to Rome. (Be sure to click through my photos at the top of the TU link):
When in Rome… Read more
We spent this beautiful August day doing a little cleaning at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville. Various youth groups are going to the shrine to do some minor maintenance work to help get ready for the canonization celebrations that will take place this fall when Blessed Kateri finally becomes a saint. Read more
I rarely go to the movies and almost never with Dennis, but last weekend I decided we were going to find the time — make the time — to see The Way with Martin Sheen. In recent years, pilgrimage has become an important part of my spiritual journey. And not just because I finally got the chance to go to Rome last year. Nope. In fact, my focus on pilgrimage began long before I’d ever renewed my passport, and that, as it turns out, is as it should be. We are all on a pilgrimage, whether we walk the 800 kilometers of the famed Camino de Santiago de Compostela, or never get past our neighborhood church. Read more
From the Monastery of St. Scholastica in Subiaco, Italy.
Photo by Mary DeTurris Poust
Happy Feast of St. Benedict! Here’s a snippet about St. Benedict from my newest book, The Essential Guide to Catholic Prayer and the Mass:
“While the Rule of St. Benedict covers everything from how much wine the monks were allowed to drink with dinner to receiving guests at the monastery, it’s still very much relevant to our lives today. Even the parts about moderation in food and drink can be adapted to our modern lives.
“St. Benedict opens the Rule with these words: ‘Listen with the ear of your heart.’ That’s a favorite quote of mine, and it hangs on a stone plaque in my office. It gets to the heart of prayer life, and the heart of life in general. We’re not meant to run from one thing to another without focus, without peace, without direction. We need to stop, breathe, be quiet, and listen with our hearts.
“…St. Benedict teaches us to live an integrated life. So prayer is woven into the work we do each day, whether we drive a bus, balance budget sheets, or care for our children. Our community is our family, our friends, our parish, our workplace. And our study? Well, we’re doing that right now as we attempt to learn more about faith and prayer in order to grow closer to Christ.
“So if we lean toward a holistic view of spirituality, of our faith as intricately woven into every moment and event of our lives, then Benedictine spirituality could be a path to explore…”
With a breathtaking valley stretching out below and an ancient monastery clinging to the cliffs above, Subiaco, Italy, feels as though it is a world away from the chaotic streets of Rome, only 40 miles to its west. And, in a sense, it is.
Steeped in history that stretches back to the Roman Empire and the earliest centuries of the Roman Catholic Church, Subiaco is a place out of time, giving visitors a chance to step into the very same cloisters, caves and gardens that were once home to ancient saints and medieval monks. Read more
When I was in Italy this past September, the final full day of the trip included a daylong visit to the Monastery of St. Benedict and the Monastery of St. Scholastica in Subiaco, just an hour’s bus ride from Rome. It was a beautiful day, filled with awesome sights and spiritual inspiration. So today, on the Feast of St. Scholastica, I thought I’d share some photos from the monastery that bears her name. Read more
Here’s my little love letter to Rome, which appears (with my photos) in today’s Albany Times Union:
When in Rome…
By Mary DeTurris Poust
From the moment my plane touched down in Rome, I was in love.Visiting the country where my grandfather was born was the fulfillment of a promise I’d made to myself. I was awed by the prospect of standing in St. Peter’s Square, walking through the Coliseum and soaking in the artwork of Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Bernini as I wandered through churches and piazzas.
I had 10 days to explore Rome on my first visit to the Eternal City, a trip that involved a weeklong university seminar for journalists who cover the Catholic Church. Armed with my favorite guide books, an Italian phrase book and an appetite for adventure, I set out to make the city my own. But I quickly learned that without a willingness to think outside the tourist box, my pilgrimage could deteriorate into a parade of indistinguishable ancient churches and artistic masterpieces.
So how to experience Rome like a Roman? When my wristwatch stopped working on the first day of my visit, I took it as a sign:….continue reading HERE.