Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Celebrating Our Return

On Friends and Community

There were joys to be found in their company
which still more powerfully captivated my mind -
the charms of talking and laughing together
and knidly giving way to each other's wishes,
reading elegantly written books together,
sharing jokes and delighting to honor one another,
disagreeing occasionally but without rancor
and lending excitement by that rare disagreement
to our much more frequent accord.
We would teach and learn from each other,
sadly missing any who were absent
and blitely welcoming them when they returned.

Such signs of friendship sprang from the hearts of friends
who loved and know their love returned,
signs to be read in smiles, words, glances
and a thousand gracious gestures.

So were sparks kindled and our minds were fused inspearably,
out of many becoming one.

St. Augustine, Confessions IV, 8. 13

Pellegrini gathered on April 4th, at the home of fellow pilgrims Joe and Susanne to share a manificent meal of sausages, polenta, salad and desert with the obligatory wine, Grappa and Limoncello. In true Italian fashion, Kelly, Bernadette and Fr. Chris with other members of the host family helped out in the kitchen, under the wacthful eye of Mama Susanne. It was a valiant and very successful attempt to recapture the mood and moment of pilgrimge.

Fondest memories and amusing stories were matched with hundreds of photographs, shared among Villanovans who now, through their common experience have become good friends.

Copies of our daily journal reflections had been formatted and bound by Kathy and John in record speed. Beth presented each pilgrim with a pine cone keepsake from Lecceto and Fr. Joe distributed St. Augustine medallions from Cassago Brianza. Most importantly, an expression of thanks was presented to Fr. Joe for his flawless management of Villanova's first pilgrimage.

And as a fitting end to a delightful evening, Poet Laureate of the Pilgrimage, Chrissy, provided a lively reading of her now famous epic Pellegrinaggio 2008.

We missed you, Lou and hope to see you this summer!

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