Arts & Entertainment
Bon voyage, pilgrims! Meet some of the 40 local travelers
CHARLOTTE — May 2 was an exciting day for the more than 40 pilgrims from the Diocese of Charlotte and the Archdiocese of Atlanta who teamed up for a trip to Rome to join their respective bishops, Peter Jugis and Archbishop Wilton Gregory, on their ad limina visit to the Eternal City May 6-12.
The pilgrims from Charlotte were at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport by mid-morning, exchanging hugs with one another in joyful anticipation of the 10-day pilgrimage which will take them 5,000 miles from home.
Some of them are veteran international travelers, like Deacon Carlos Medina and his wife Martha. In fact, Martha came so prepared that she had extra travel items like sleep masks and earplugs to share with those who had forgotten to pack them.
Pictured: Some of the pilgrims celebrate Mass at Chiesa Nuvoa in Assisi May 3. (Photo by SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald)
Deacon Robert Murphy and his wife Angeles are also accustomed to the rigors of sleep deprivation from changing time zones and the ins and outs of electronics in what can be a confusing conversion system.
The "official" tour director for the pilgrimage is Father Christopher Roux, rector of St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte.
He greeted pilgrims as they arrived at the airport and, as any good tour director does, shepherded them through the maze of the unfamiliar airport in Philadelphia when they had to change plans for the flight to Rome.
Father Roux was particularly noticeable inside the very busy terminal as he was carrying a large brown case containing the crosier the Bishop of Charlotte uses, which features an image of the Lamb of God. The crosier is in need of repair, so Father Roux is transporting it to a shop in Italy that specializes in fine religious items.
There are a total of three priests on the pilgrimage. Father John Eckert, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Grace in Greensboro, and Father Michael Silloway of the Archdiocese of Atlanta are assisting Father Roux by rotating the responsibility as main celebrant at daily Mass on specific days.
Father Eckert is traveling with his mother Cheryl and his aunt Carol. Both he and his mother are going to Rome for the first time.
Father Silloway studied at the North American College in Rome for five years and is looking forward to going back to visit friends and enjoy all that Italy has to offer. He is especially looking forward to visiting a small church in Assisi, where he spent time in prayer when he was in a month-long Italian language immersion program in 1996.
"There is this little, tiny church where they think St. Francis played as a child," said Father Silloway. "It's called San Stefano...it's the most humble church you can imagine. There is no decoration inside; just stones built up on stones, holds maybe 20 people.
"Every day I would go down into that church and have my time with the Lord...it captures the spirit of Francis for me there."
Adrienne, a parishioner from St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte, is thankful to have the opportunity to join the group, as she signed on to the tour late and wasn't sure she would be allowed to join the pilgrimage. It's her first time traveling to Italy, and her excitement is palpable.
"I'm so excited! The trip was totally closed but I begged, I pleaded," she said.
"I think for anybody that is Catholic, Rome is our spiritual home. My family is from Siena, so I get to see where my family is from...St. Francis is one of my favorite saints. There is such wonder and joy on this trip."
After an overnight trip to Rome, the pilgrims boarded a bus for the three-hour drive to Assisi where they will spend the next two days.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
McLeansville artist sees his work as evangelizationGREENSBORO — One gift changed Paul Nixon's life. Today the McLeansville man is a working artist, with sculptures on display throughout Guilford County. His latest, a sculpture of the Lamb of God, was installed at St. Thomas More Church...
For the love of painting: Lifesize portrait painted of Monsignor MarcaccioGREENSBORO — Last month Monsignor Anthony Marcaccio, pastor of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro, was hung. On a wall. In the church. Last year, St. Pius X parishioners hired up-and-coming British artist Nancy Fletcher to paint a life-size...
Shroud of Turin broadcast set for Holy SaturdayDENVER — Pope Benedict XVI's decision to allow a TV broadcast of the Shroud of Turin on March 30, Holy Saturday, has been lauded by experts for highlighting the link between the shroud and the death and resurrection of Christ. "Pope Benedict...
A Catholic iPhone contract for teensHUNTERSVILLE — For many parents, giving their teenaged son or daughter a smartphone can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, cell phones are a reassuring tool in the event of an emergency. On the other hand, there are the dangers of texting...
'Passages' is a worthwhile journey to experienceCHARLOTTE — A recent advertisement in the Catholic News Herald caught my attention: part of the extensive Bible collection of the Green family (owners of Hobby Lobby) are on tour in Charlotte in an exhibit called "Passages." The display is...
Local Catholic author inspires young readers with stories of faithSAPPHIRE — Author Deanna Klingel has a lot of "loves" in her life; her faith, family, gardening, her glorious dogs and, thankfully for all her readers, she loves telling stories. Her books and short stories cover a wide range of time and...
Belmont pastor posts homilies online, on Twitter to evangelize'The connecting point to get them to the pews' BELMONT — On Sundays the Scriptures are read and a homily follows. Few of us, though, think about where that homily comes from or what it means to the person preaching. For Father Frank Cancro,...