Friday, June 29, 2007

Peter and Paul

We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of our sisters in the United States. It was technically yesterday, but since today is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, it kind of makes sense to celebrate it today. Plus, since it is the "diamond" jubilee, we are celebrating it all year.
I remember a story told by Mother Paula, who was in that first group of three. Raised on a tiny farm in a village in the Italian Alps, she had just arrived in a new country, with a language she didn't know and a culture she couldn't begin to fathom. And when the sisters went to Mass on the very first day they woke up in that new country, she began to cry. In Italy, this is a really big feast day: not just a "holy day of obligation" (it still is, in Vatican City!), years ago, it was a national holiday, as well. (After all, Peter and Paul are the patron saints of Rome.) But in New York, in 1932, it was just another workday. A harsh welcome for those young missionaries.
(The image, by the way, features 9th century mosaics from the tiny chapel in the Church of St. Praxedes--in Rome, of course. One of my favorite places.)

1 comment:

winifritz said...

Let me guess, is New Orleans also one of your favorite places...Moi