Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Girlfriends, Grab Your Rosaries.

How does one begin to prepare oneself for 4 months in another country? Even more, how does one begin to prepare oneself for 4 months of living in close quarters with 30+ other people? Further, how does one begin to prepare oneself for 4 months in the heart of the Catholic Christian faith?! If you're like me, your answer is probably something like "uhhh buuhhhh...". But that is exactly what makes preparing for my 4 month trip to Rome, Italy so exciting.

Although these past 12 months of "preparing" for Rome have been filled with endless advice, countless to-dos, oodles of to-don'ts, and infinite well wishes, I still am living in a cocoon of the unknown. While having both parents, 3 siblings, and many friends who have lived in Rome for an extended period of time, their stories and advice really only can take me so far on my own experience. Even though I have had to tell my family to stop talking about Rome to me a couple times these past couple months, their advice has helped to prepare me for what is to come. But back to my first paragraph, how does one truly prepare for such an intense experience? Uhhhh buuuuhhhh? That's right!

So here I am, less than 10 days to go, with all the advice in my pocket that I could possibly carry. But one of the best pieces of advice I have received sits at the bottom of my pocket all crumpled up and forgotten amidst the whirlwind of to-dos and to-don'ts: "Monica, create your own adventure." And that is exactly what I intend to do.

While I know I can't really fully prepare myself for what is to come, I hope to dive deeply into the heart of Jesus and feel the pulsing beat of His Church on earth. I will surrender my time in Rome for the Lord, and can't wait for the difficulties to sandpaper the heck out of me (sandpaper imagery is owned by my dad...gotta love papa Joe).

Oh, boy! My own adventure with the Lord! Can't wait, can't wait!!

But, I'm not stupid (and I know that's what some of you might be thinking). I realize I can't do such a task on my own. This is where I need your help. I need your prayers. I want to strip myself of everything holding me back from becoming more like Christ, but (like the Beatles sang) I gotta get by with a little help from my friends! So, as our dear friend Alyssa Bormis says, "Girlfriends, grab your rosaries!" (Or, if you're a boy, boyfriends, grab your rosaries...but, I think you get the idea). I have been praying a rosary everyday for the preparation of my heart for Rome, and I'd love nothing more for those prayers to be continued, doubled, and not only for me, but for all my other brothers and sisters going to the Eternal City with me this coming semester. No doubt, we all need them. So whether the rosary is your weapon of choice or some other form of prayer, simple prayers are really what I am after. Oh, and of course, please give me any prayers that you want me to pray for you for. I mean, I will be in a pretty holy place and surrounded by saints' bodies, walking on the same stones as martyrs, and being close to walking saints (holla at you Papa Bene!). Whatever. No big deal....Oh, but my point is, I'd love nothing more than to return the favor :)


And so begins the arduous task of packing and getting physically prepared to leave. Woof. This is gonna be a lot of work. Not to mention attempting to begin homework for Dr. Coulter's (our faculty advisor) class before I go. Oh and the small task of trying to say goodbye to people. Yippee! 4 months. That's a blink of an eye. Remember that all those who'd rather tie me down than let me go across the ocean for 4 months (you know who you are....*cough* Mom *cough*).

I wish I could bring you all in my suitcase, but alas, there is a 50 pound bag weight limit.

Much Love.

God bless you.


  1. Sad as I am that you are leaving us for a while, I too made this marvelous journey when I was in college and it was a life changing experience. So with that thought in mind, I say Bon Vonage my dear little Kat Kat.. Pray for us as we pray for you...And have a BLAST!! , oh and try to remember to study some!! Love you more than words can ever express! Hugs ---MAMASITA!!!!

  2. You're a good writer Monqueque; I enjoyed reading this! Can't wait to hear your updates, but if you can't keep it up, don't worry :)I'll be grabbing my rosary and sending prayers your way --Alice

  3. I have already been praying my Rosary prayers for you my dear little Kat Kat...
    God is going to show you the best time of your life!!!!!!
    Can't wait to hear all the fun and exciting discoveries you make...I remember how great it was for me and I know it will be just as great for you if not better.....
    I will miss you though.
    So, try to blog from time to time so I can at least hear some of the things you are doing..

    Love and hugs to one of the dearest little ladies I know sweet Kat Kat..

    Love Mom

  4. You sure have lots of nicknames, but my personal favorite is Moof. You are such a beautiful woman, and I am so excited to see what God has in store for you. You know what they say? All roads lead to Rome. May God bless you on this adventure, and may this road lead you to exactly where you are supposed to be-Annemarie

  5. Well, one week from today you will be heading exciting for you... So happy for you Monica... I will miss you deeply but also be so very happy for you at the same time that my heart will be full..
    Love you so very very much my dear little Kat Kat and as always, so very proud of you!!! You are truly a gift from God!!!!
    Love and hugs ...Hugs Mom

  6. Monica, great first entry. I LOVE the fact that you said "Holla at you Papa Bene"! I'm almost died laughing. It will be a privilege to have a semester in Rome with ya! Countdown: T-minus 5 days until we leave!!

  7. Monica...It is about 11pm your time on Saturday Feb 5, and you are hopefully fast asleep, worn out by your long travel.
    I hope you have a peaceful rest my dear. Hugs!
    Tomorrow, Sunday Feb 6, will begin your first full "fully awake" day in Roma... I know it will be a day of adventure, excitement, prayer and discoveries.....
    Have fun...pray hard...listen to God always, and oh, say hi to Il Papa Benedito XVI for me when you get to go to the Papal Audience on Monday Feb 8.
    We miss you, but are so happy for you to be there in the Eternal City of God.
    Enjoy every moment, and when you find time, let us know what some fun things you are doing. In the mean time, Buona Notte Mia Monica.

    Love and hugs Mamasita Sharon