2017 Assisi Scholar Pilgrimage
On Thursday, October 5 twelve seniors from Roger Bacon High School departed on a week-long pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, Italy. The trip is the culmination of three years in the Assisi Scholars Program. As pilgrims, the students will be walking in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, visiting the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare, and Vatican City.
The Class of 2018 Assisi Scholars are Erin Backs, Courtney Dulaney, Johnathan Gruter, Jessica Kern, Daniel Michaels, Emily Miller, Julia Mumper, Grace
Nonnamaker, Lilly Petrey, Teresa Weickert, Ben Woeste, and Logan Wolf.
Joining the Scholars on the trip are Principal, Steve Schad, Assistant Admissions and Communications Director, Alyssa Flading '05, Advancement Specialist, Tom Bill, as well as four students from Oldenburg Academy.
Day 1 - Arrival
The Scholars' flight arrived in Rome and they checked into the Casa Tra Noi. After a much needed riposo (rest), they were given an orientation for their pilgrimage in Rome, then took a walk through the historic city where they enjoyed their first cena (dinner) as a group.
Day 2 - Francis in Rome (San Giovanni Laterano and San Pietro)
The day began with a prayer service and learning about St. Francis and Pope Innocent III. Afterwards, the Scholars headed to the Cathedral Church of Rome, the Papal Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran. It is the oldest of the four papal major basilicas.
In the evening, the Scholars walked to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Day 3 - Arrive in Assisi (La Foresta, and Greccio)
The Scholars departed Rome and began their journey to Assisi. On the way they made their first stop at Santa Maria della Forresta, where St. Francis would retreat for prayer and reflection. Their next stop was Greccio, where St. Francis constructed the first nativity scene.
They arrived in Assisi where they celebrated Mass and shared dinner as a group.
Day 4 - Assisi History, Francis and his family (Rocca Maggiore, San Rufino, Chiesa Nuova, Bernardone House, Carceri)
The childhood and early life of St. Francis was explored by visiting the Rocca Maggiore (the original fortress of Assisi), Chiesa Nuova (the birthplace
of St. Francis) and San Rufino (the church where St. Francis and St. Clare were both baptized).
They Scholars also visited Carceri, a wilderness retreat for St. Francis and his brothers to spend time in prayer mediation.
Day 5 - Francis' Conversion (Santa Maria Maggiore and San Damiano Cross)
The Scholars began their day watching a video about the time young Francis spent in prison, then went on a historical visit to Santa Maria Maggiore (the original cathedral of Assisi, Italy.)
The conversions of St. Francis and St. Clare will be explored as the scholars learn about the San Damiano Cross.
Day 6 - St. Clare (Santa Chiara, San Damiano, Clare's Departure)
The day began by visiting the Basilica of St. Clare. The Basilica houses the wooden crucifix that is said to have spoken to St. Francis -- now known as the San Damiano Cross.
The pilgrims will then head to the Chapel of San Damiano, approximately a mile outside of Assisi, to celebrate the Eucharist followed by a healing ritual.
Day 7 - Francis' Life of Penance (San Francesco, S.M. degli Angeli, San Rufino, La Maddalena, Rivo Torto)
The scholars visited the tomb of St. Francis and celebrated Mass in the Basilica of St. Francis. Afterwards, they made their way to the Portiuncola (port-zee-unc-u-la),
the church that St. Francis literally rebuilt and visited San Rufino d'arce, the place where St. Francis cared for the lepers.
Be sure to follow their journey on Twitter @AssisiScholars for photos and updates.