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Turn to Jesus (Article)

An Experience of Prayer
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Brother Andrew Gronotte and friends share their thoughts after a day’s pilgrimage through the churches of Rome

LC Seminarians Praying
Legion seminarians prayed for intentions at more than 30 churches in Rome

Below is a brief summary by Brother Andrew Gronotte LC of what he and his fellow brothers experienced during the “Churchathon” held Saturday, March 24, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  They carried prayer intentions to more than 30 churches from those who pledged funds to support their vocation.  To read more about the event, click hereMany have asked if they can still add their support, and you can do so by clicking here or sending a check directly to Brother Andrew Gronotte, LC at Via Aurelia 677, 00165 Roma Italia.  

Rome, Italy -- We left the seminary at 8:00 am, a group of 21 brothers. We had no idea what to expect on the journey.  We had all walked the streets of Rome before, but mainly as tourists or just showing groups around to some of the churches. This was new. This was quite the experience. 

After walking for about 20 minutes, we arrived at our first church (Madonna del Riposo) where pilgrims used to stop and spend the night before finishing their pilgrimages to St Peter’s.  

After that we went to St Peter’s Basilica and had to wait
Group of 21 LC seminarians
The 21 brothers carried prayer intentions from those who pledged to support their vocation
in line to go inside.  Some of us were starting to worry because it was already 9:50 am, and we had only been in two churches.  But the most dense area of churches was yet to come.  We crossed the river and stared walking from church to church.  

I was impressed with the spirit with which we did this.  All the brothers had their list of intentions they pulled out as we walked into each church.  Some of the brothers had not visited all these churches before.  But we all knew what we were coming to do -- to intercede for all the intentions we had received.  There was a real, prayerful spirit through it all. 

Each of us headed straight to an altar to pray. Each altar was dedicated to someone in particular, a saint, Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, etc.  (In the first church I headed straight for the altar dedicated to John Paul II.)  After kneeling in prayer for a few minutes, we would then admire the beautiful artwork.   

By lunch we were all very tired, but I don’t think anyone could tell because we were so happy to be able to intercede for so many people. 

By the end of the day we had visited 31 churches, and spent over 3 hrs in prayer.   I am sure that many graces were sent out that Saturday.   Thanks again for this wonderful opportunity to pray for you all.  I will continue to intercede for your intentions in my
Artwork in Rome churches
They enjoyed some of the beautiful artwork in the churches of Rome
daily adoration.  God bless! 

Below are quotes from some of my other companions on the journey…

Brother Stephen Dardis, LC:

While carrying the intentions in my pocket, I reflected often on Christ’s story of the persistent widow, going again and again to the Judge asking him to grant her request.  That’s what it was like Saturday, going to Christ in the Eucharist, in church after church, insisting again and again for these same petitions to be granted according to His will.   This time will remain in my memory as a joyful moment, offering the entire day to God for the souls He wished to place along my path—and I am most grateful.

Brother Drew Patterson, LC:

What an epic journey and a torrent of grace! It was a really beautiful experience to have this day dedicated to prayer. Thanks be to God that by the time we stumbled back onto our property at 8:00 pm, hungry, sore and tired, we had walked close to 19 miles through the city of Rome and fulfilled our goal of visiting 30 churches (we actually visited 31!)

Brother John Bender, LC:

I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me and my fellow seminarian brothers!!! There was a sincere spirit of prayer and sacrifice among us during the entire pilgrimage. It was an awesome experience! Please continue to count on my prayers for your intentions, which I presented in every church I visited. God bless you all.

Brother Samuel Chow, LC

It was a great experience to bring prayer intentions that are dear to our friends and family before our Lord in the Eucharist all throughout Rome.

Brother Diego Trillas, LC

It was providential that, on the same day of our Churchathon, the Pope was visiting Mexico!  I am very grateful to all of you who are helping us in our vocation.

Brother Jerek Scherber, LC

I have never had such a spiritual walk through Rome! It was really quite a trek, and my hip is still reminding me!  But I would do it again in an instant. I went from church to church with a list of names that my sister had sent me of all her fellow pre-candidates in Rhode Island. This list became my “pilgrim’s treasure,” the motivation that kept me going, and the reminder of the often-repeated lesson that when you are living for others, big sacrifices become small, and small sacrifices become gold.




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