“Top Five” 2015: Weeks One and Two

June 2, 2015

by Michael Anani (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph)

Top Five Highlights of Week One:
1. and 2. The incorrupt bodies of Saints Margaret Mary Alacoque and John Vianney. An “incorrupt body” had always been theoretical to me. I believed it could and had happened on faith, but I didn’t fully register the great miracle of God suspending natural laws of decomposition and not allowing one of his saints to decay. To see two incorrupt bodies in elevated glass tombs in one week was an amazing experience. And what a pair of saints!

3. The Cathedral of Lyon. To visit where Saint Irenaeus oversaw his flock and thundered against the heresy of not believing in the true presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus, at least as early as 107 AD.

4. The conversation and friend I made on the flight from Madrid to Lyon.

5. The silent retreat—what resolutions!

Top Five Highlights of Week Two:
1. St. Peters, what can I say?

2. Rome in general. Is there anywhere in the entire city where Our Lady is not gazing at you from a painting? I hope not.

3. Gelato with all 23 of us plus Father Maher and Father Sims-Baker. It was a check list item, granted. But it was lots of fun to walk around Rome at night with such a large group of great guys in clerics. And yes, the gelato was excellent.

4. The class taught by Father Bob Gaul was incredible. The virtues a priest should cultivate. The title was good, but what made the class so interesting were the practical suggestions for how to cultivate them.

5. When I realized I knew everyone’s name. Don’t get me wrong, the silent retreat in week one was great and I am confident it is the best way to begin The Rome Experience. However, it did slow down the process of learning everyone’s names.