Friday, November 25, 2011

Lots To Be Thankful For

You might be wondering how the seminarians and priests of the North American College celebrated Thanksgiving thousands of miles away from the United States. Well for us, we celebrated Thanksgiving in typical NAC style...BIG. Thanksgiving is obviously not a holiday in Italy, but all of us take the day off of classes in order to celebrate Thanksgiving all together.

The day began with the second annual turkey trot 5k race around the Vatican. After the race we all gathered in our respective hallways for breakfast. Everyone pitches in and helps to cook breakfast, which we try to make as American as possible. My hallway also has the tradition of watching Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.

At noon we all gathered in the main chapel for Mass celebrated by Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago. Archbishop Dolan of New York preached the homily. He reminded us all of the many things that we have to be thankful for. If you've ever heard Archbishop Dolan preach before you'd know that it was not only a really good homily, but really funny too. Eucharist mean thanksgiving in Greek. For us, the Eucharist is the central act of thanksgiving to God everyday.

Next came the big feast. Over 300 people filled the refectory to enjoy an American style thanksgiving. Everything tasted great. It wasn't as good as my Granny's and Grandma's turkey and dressing, but for Italians it was pretty good. And of course, they served us some pasta too. Another tradition is that the 5th year priests bake the pumpkin pies. This year the priests baked over 100 pies with another 20 being donated by the Americans at the naval base in Naples. After dinner I needed a nap!

After dinner some of us got together to watch some football. Just like back home, I watched the Lions lose to the Packers...again.

All in all it was a blessed day. At the end of the day I realized just how much I have to be thankful for...

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