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Assisi Scholar Pilgrimage

The culmination of the Assisi Scholars Program is a pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, Italy during the senior year. Rooted in Franciscan tradition, this is a unique opportunity for Roger Bacon students that no other area high school can provide. The Pilgrimage is a great way for students not only to travel the world, but to live and witness the teachings of Saints Francis and Clare.

To see highlights of the Class of 2022 pilgrimage click HERE

Class of 2021 Assisi Scholars reflected on their pilgrimage:

"The Assisi Scholars program truly aided in my college success. My transition to college was smooth, and I was better equipped going into classes than many of my peers. I have performed well due to the excellent preparation I received at Roger Bacon. The trip to Assisi was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the perfect way to say farewell to my high school classmates. I grew so much academically and spiritually due to the Assisi Scholars program, and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering applying."

- Claire Hogshead '21, Class Valedictorian, Freshman - University of Dayton

"The trip helped open my eyes to the cultural differences, amazing spiritual experiences, and all around was one of the greatest things I will ever do in my life. I cannot express enough the impact that week made on me. I met a man named Malik who was staying at Casa Papa Giovanni with us. He was a Muslim that wore crosses and had the best outlook on life when he had been through some terrible experiences that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. He shared his life with me and left a lasting impact that I still ponder over every so often. This trip was never about sight seeing, even though that was a great part of it, it was so much more about experiencing the lives and culture of the rest of the world."

- Evan Webb '21, Freshman - Mount St. Joseph University

"The experiences that I had on this trip with some of the best people I have ever met and had the honor of spending that week with are what made any part of the program and trip meaningful. One specific encounter breathed new life in my spiritual side and my outlook on faith and God went from a “no way” to a “what if.” This significance of that cannot be overstated. One morning in Assisi, (my classmate) Sam Mumper told me an incredible story about her conversation with a man on the roof the previous night which snowballed into multiple tiny revelations and significant observations of myself and the world and people around me. It has shaped me since I found a piece of myself I didn’t know I was looking for in Italy that week with those people. It lit within me a fire to be the best person that I can be and I have been striving for that here at Dayton every day. As I mentioned it was Sam and her story talking to the man on the roof that brought all of this about, not necessarily the structure of the pilgrimage or the church going. This just emphasizes how important the people are, and we had a spectacular group."

- Charles Strunc '21, Freshman - University of Dayton

"The Assisi program equipped me with the necessary tools and abilities to handle the ever changing curriculum that I am faced with in college. I was very happy with the scholarships it presented me with and has allowed me to attend college without worrying about the cost. The trip for me was just eyeopening; the eye opening views were magnificent but the real enjoyment of the trip for me came from interacting with the people of Italy. They have such a different culture and it truly makes me appreciate how diverse the world is."

- Alexander Wolf '21, Freshman - Xavier University

"Every school year, the Assisi Scholars would come back from their Italy pilgrimage in
September or October, and tell all of their friends about this wonderful experience they had. For my class’ senior year, COVID threw a wrench in a lot of plans, including the plan for the Assisi Scholars to travel to Italy in the fall, pushing the pilgrimage back to the summer after graduation with uncertainty that it would even happen.However, I thanked COVID for this little inconvenience. Experiencing this pilgrimage after graduating, with people I saw everyday for four years, made this trip indescribably memorable. Not only did we get to experience a new country, culture, and faith journey together, but we experienced all of those knowing it would most likely be the last time we were all together. I think we all clung to each other a bit tighter during the trip. Whether it was watching sunsets from the rooftop, playing euchre, or getting gelato for the 17th time, we embraced every second of the pilgrimage."

- Samanthan Mumper '21, Freshman - Miami University

"The Assisi Scholars Program has prepared me to succeed academically in the college arena and has provided me with the tools necessary to transition well in this next stage of my life. Through Assisi Scholars, I took a variety of advanced-level courses that have not only prepared me for the rigor of college classes but have allowed me to meet the vast majority of my general education requirements before stepping foot on campus.

One of my favorite aspects of the Assisi Scholars Program was the opportunity to travel to Assisi, Italy. The Assisi Pilgrimage is an experience afforded to senior Assisi Scholars where students can fully immerse themselves in Franciscan culture in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Learning about our Franciscan history and growing in my faith in a place of so much religious significance is an indescribable experience. I believe anyone who can take advantage of this opportunity should really consider it."

- Grace Hogshead '21, Freshman - Miami University

See more about the Class of 2021 pilgrimage here.

Class of 2020 Assisi Scholars reflected on their pilgrimage:

"The most valuable part of the trip for me was going up into the mountains and sitting in peace and quiet with all of our inner thoughts. We could be there with God alone and were surrounded by all his creation and admire all of its beauty and all the good things in our lives."
- Lindsey Ballinger

"My favorite part about the trip was when we were given time for personal growth in faith and spirituality. We were given a lot of time in silent reflection in different locations, and that helped me to look deeper into myself and really think about what my purpose was on the pilgrimage."
- Kelly Brenner

"While in Assisi, Italy, we were given many opportunities to have personal quiet times in various churches. My relationship with God grew during these times, which has helped me since I’ve been back home."
Sydney Cardwell

"The most impactful experience I had in Assisi was going up to the top of Mount Subasio above Assisi and hiking around the friary on the side of the mountain. It was very peaceful and something I won’t forget."
Thomas DeWees

"The most impactful part of the pilgrimage was sitting in St. Mary of the Angels Basilica by myself, thinking and praying in pure silence. That was the most calm I’ve been in a long time."
- Haley Fulton

"My most memorable experience on the Assisi trip was seeing the original San Damiano cross in St. Clare’s basilica. This cross gave me a sense of peace with the world and reflective time with myself to talk to God, as well as a humbling feeling but also a sense of pride in my own worth."
- Mia Grooms

"The most impactful part of the trip was being able to walk in the same steps as St. Francis, St. Clare, friars, and the many pilgrims that came before us. I was surprised at the way our group grew as individuals but especially as a community together because by the end of the week I had many so many new relationships and fostered new friendships that I would have never expected."
- Anna Janzen

"The most memorable moment for me was being in the cupola on top of St. Peter’s Basilica and being able to see all of Rome."
- Charles Johnstone

"Being able to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis and St. Clare allowed me to reflect on my own calling in life and how I can grow in my Catholic faith."
Anna Juengling

"The most meaningful part of my experience on the Assisi Scholar Trip to Italy was the opportunity to build closer relationships with the people within the program and make new friendships with my own classmates, the students from Oldenburg Academy, and the leaders."
Rose Kaetzel

"The most impactful moment was being in St. Francis’ Basilica and seeing how important and impactful St. Francis was to the Catholic faith."
- Bryan Koch

"The Assisi trip was a real time for bonding within our Assisi Scholar group. Having the chance to travel to Italy to truly let go and enjoy life without other burdens was a privilege that we worked very hard for over the last few years."
- Miriam Kolis

"The trip as a whole was a much needed spiritual journey. In the different churches and historical sites we visited, it allowed me to reflect on who I am and what things I can do to make myself a better individual."
- Josiah McGee

"The most meaningful part of our trip to Assisi was how close we all became on our pilgrimage. Returning home does not mean our pilgrimage is over; it’s only just beginning."
- Reiko Hargis-McGuirt

"The friendships I formed and the people I grew closer to was the thing I will take most from this pilgrimage. The experience of touring the holiest places in our faith with my peers is something I will forever value."
- Annabelle Merz

"The most memorable part of the Assisi trip for me was praying in front of the San Damiano Crucifix. Realizing the Francis actually prayed in front of this cross was an unbelievable experience."
Patrick Mulcahey

"The most impactful thing from the pilgrimage was having Mass every day. I am not the type of person who goes to Mass every day, but having Mass, especially in different places with different culture was the most impactful. It was impactful because it opened my eyes to how Mass can be fun and how much praying affects my life."
- Karley Niesen

"The most memorable experience was going to the dome of St. Peter’s.It was a long trek, but worth the view to see Vatican City from the highest point."
- Megan Shooner

"Assisi was a surreal experience. My favorite times were the nights we spent outside, having fun and taking in the experience."
- Lucas Strunc

"The most impactful part of the trip to Assisi was serving for the mass at St. Clare’s chapel. I had never served before and I was very anxious about it, but during the mass I really felt like God was speaking to me through serving."
- Rebecca Mae Spears

"One thing I would take away from the trip is going to the roof of the hotel building and getting to see the beautiful view while spending time with my closest friends."
- Pablo Veran

"The most memorable part of the trip was when we went up to Mt. Subasio. I thought it was really fun and nice to get to be by myself for a little while and think about whatever came to mind."
- Ryan Wissel

"On the Assisi Scholar trip, we further grew as a community by learning about St. Francis and building strong relationships with one another."
- Wongelawit Yohannes