Loading

A blogger’s accidental pilgrimage

Lisa M. Hendey

Pilgrims celebrate Bl. John Paul II's beatification in St. Peter's Square

My month of May was filled was unexpected blessings as I made an impromptu trip to Rome for the first ever “Vatican Blogger Meeting.” The meeting was hosted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Councils for Culture and Social Communications. The councils anticipated that many bloggers would likely be in Rome for the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II. On very short notice, they organized a half-day conference for bloggers. Interest in the event was immediate and widespread, with writers from around the world making application to attend. At the end of the quick application period, 150 writers were randomly selected. I learned to my great surprise that my name was on the list, and quickly began organizing my first real trip to Italy.

As it turned out, the blogger meeting was only one of the amazing highlights of my trip to the Vatican. During the course of my five-day visit (planned on the spur of the moment and largely possible due to the support of my publisher Ave Maria Press and a private donor), I attended the Beatification Mass, the Mass of Thanksgiving, a private Mass in the Crypt at St. Peters, and the Wednesday audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Sleep was in short supply, the food was amazing, and I learned that my “cute” American shoes were not made for walking on cobblestones. With enough Italian to say “please,” “thank you,” and “gelato,” I set off for the spiritual adventure of a lifetime.

Certainly, for me, the highlight of my spur of the moment pilgrimage was standing in the thick of over a million fellow Catholics, crying for joy at the moment of the Beatification. Nestled between a group of Polish nuns and some pretty feisty Italian housewives, I sang and prayed and rejoiced with the rest of the crowd – each of us in our own native languages, but united as a one, holy, catholic and apostolic nation of believers whose lives had been touched by this incredible man. My mind flashed back upon the three days I’d spent on my couch when Pope John Paul II died – in those moments I would have done anything to be present for his funeral… I remember pondering the crazy thought of jumping on a plane and simply camping out in St. Peter’s with the rest of the mourners. And now, there I was, six years later, huddled with so many who owed the intensity of their faith to many of the teachings of “JPII”, the only Pope many of us had ever really known. I couldn’t see the altar from my vantage point that Sunday morning, but my heart felt “at home” with my fellow pilgrims.

Honestly, a few weeks after this amazing experience, I am still praying about and absorbing so much of what I learned and experienced in Rome. Our Vatican Blogger Meeting was another highlight – as much for the informal relationships and conversations that flourished though “in real life” interactions as for what was formally presented from the dais that day. I’m thrilled at the direction that the Vatican has planned to take with respect to implementing new media technologies in evangelization, communications and catechesis. Over the next several months, as we watch their initiatives being unveiled, Catholics will be able to take great pride in the fact that our faith leaders really “get” the importance of being on the cutting edge in communications, but more importantly holding fast to the true teachings of our Church. My fellow bloggers around the world are equally committed to using our keyboards and mobile devices to help share our passion for the Good News. On our blogs, our Facebook profiles, and our Twitter accounts – and with whatever new tools come along – we are each living out the great commission in our own ways.

This is an exciting time to be a Catholic blogger!

Topics: Faith , Social Networking

Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of http://catholicmom.com/ and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at LisaHendey.com.

View all articles by Lisa M. Hendey

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

RECENT POSTS

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (48)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (3)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (16)  Church teaching (31)  Contraception (26)  Culture (123)  Current Events (94)  Dating (15)  Death (6)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (14)  Eucharist (4)  Exercise (3)  Faith (222)  Family (89)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (14)  Fertility (2)  Fitness (1)  Food (2)  Forgiveness (18)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (2)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (14)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (13)  Liturgical Year (11)  Marian devotion (8)  Marriage (35)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (2)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (5)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (58)  Movies (2)  Music (5)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (44)  Personal Growth (105)  Politics (4)  Pope Francis (2)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (34)  Pro-Life (27)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (6)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (11)  Saints (14)  Scripture (7)  Service (8)  Sexuality (19)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (2)  Suffering (15)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  United Nations (1)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (4)  Women's Health (20)  Workplace (12)  Writings of the Saints (10)  Young Women (40) 

Aug
31

Liturgical Calendar

August 31, 2014

TWENTY - SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 16:21-27

Gospel
Date
08/31/14
08/30/14
08/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 20: 7-9
Second Reading:: Rom 12: 1-2
Gospel:: Mt 16: 21-27

Saint of the Day

St. Aristides »

Saint
Date
08/31/14
08/30/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 16:21-27

Homily
Date
08/31/14
08/30/14
08/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: