I am at the airport in Rome getting ready to head home. As luck would have it, I am on the same flight as Cardinal Lacroix, his family, and many of the folks from Quebec and Manchester. I left the Motherhouse this morning around 7am and took the Metro to the main train station, Termini, and then took a commuter train to the airport. When you get to the commuter train, there are boys everywhere who will help you with your bags, validate your ticket, etc. I knew their scam but I did need help figuring out the validation and I gave the boy one Euro. I said no to their help with my bag but others did and when they didn't give a tip, the boys would just stand there with their hands out. One woman who sounded like she was from Ireland said, "You should have asked for money before you offered to help." It was very awkward, I was happy when they train finally pulled out!
Before I left the Motherhouse I stopped in the chapel and prayed before the relics of St. John Baptist de la Salle (his skull!). The traditional Lasallian prayer invocation is "Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God" which I said. You conclude praying by saying, "St. John Baptist de la Salle" and the response is "Pray for us." Then, "Live Jesus in our hearts" responding "Forever." When I invoked the name of St. John Baptist de la Salle with his relics right in front of me, I could not help but smile. God has so blessed me with the opportunity to get to know the Lasallian world and to have the chance to spend time at the Motherhouse. Never did I think I would be kneeling before de la Salle, it was very surreal.
It dawned on me this week - I had the opportunity this week to visit and prayer before the remains of the founders of the Franciscans, the Jesuits, and the Christian Brothers, three religious orders that have had a profound impact on my life. God is so good. I often say, Catholic school teachers don't get paid a lot or get a lot of benefits but the experiences I have had in the past few years in this job have been so profound. I would never have had these opportunities were it not for Trinity High School and I will never forget that.
Off to America.