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Stacey in Arlington is doing 35 things including…

go to daily Mass at least once a week

4 cheers


Stacey has written 22 entries about this goal

back in western pa.

Made it the first week I was home (twice in fact, but once was for the holy day), but missed last week. Maybe this week will be better.

been doing really, really well with this lately...

I went Thursday, Friday, Saturday, yesterday, and today. Go me.

When I get home, I have to figure out when daily masses are at my parish and at the other Catholic churches around town, and at the ones in downtown Pittsburgh if I get an internship there again [cross your fingers!], so I can work at least one mass a week into my schedule.


I accidently went to Mass today.

Some people can’t even manage to go on purpose. I attended mass today by accident. Literally.

I was on one of my church tours this morning. I had walked through Trastevere and up towards the Vatican and seen five very Baroque churches, and I was on my way to a gothic church near the old Palace of Justice to take in a bit of gothicness to counteract all the gold leafing I’d seen in the past couple hours, and as I was walking I passed a tiny little church with its doors open. The main characteristic of my church tours is that I don’t pass any open church without going in, so I go in. This is the Oratorio S.S. Annunciata, I believe, though I’m not really sure because that’s not actually listed on the online gigantic list of churches in Rome that I’ve been looking at. Inside there’s {who I assume is} a monk praying and a guy reading. I walk around for a minute or so (it’s pretty small), then sit down to write this church down on my list of churches, and contemplate where I can find a bathroom without paying a ton for a bad sandwich before I head to the gothic church. The “monk” in the meantime has gone back into the sanctuary. As I’m gathering my stuff to leave I hear a bell and in walks the “monk”, who is in fact a priest, and starts a mass for me and the random other guy. Well, I can’t very well leave now, considering that I would reduce the congregation by half. So I say ok, I’ll stay, this should be a quick mass, considering that there is a congregation of two and daily masses usually don’t include homilies. WRONG. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a priest speak more slowly than this guy did. He wasn’t old or anything, he just liked to pause and reflect on every single word that came out of his mouth. Of course he had a very long homily prepared. I regretted the bottle of ice tea I’d been drinking the past hour or so as soon as he started mass – by the time mass finally finished I was praying pretty fervently for it to end. Whatever it was I had done wrong and more I repented for several times over, whatever God wanted me to do was perfectly fine, just please let mass end and there be a bathroom somewhere in the church.
By the time mass was over I was practically glaring at the priest, who, of course, not only had an extraordinarily long benediction but also stopped to give a short speech thanking all of us (the congregation had increased to 3 by this time) for attending his mass and it was such a joy to share this time with us. Thankfully there was indeed a bathroom in the church, to which the priest was happy to direct me but only after he asked me where I was from and had I enjoyed the mass and something else that I wasn’t actually paying attention to because I had other things on my mind.

That ended today’s church tour. Never did make it to the gothic church.

Santa Maria in Trastevere

Went to mass at Santa Maria in Trastevere this morning. Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of, if not the, oldest churches in Rome. It may have been the first church in which mass was openly celebrated. It may also have been the first church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The church inside is absolutely gorgeous. It’s baroque, with a beautiful mosaic on the dome and wall behind the altar. There’s work being done in the church at the minute, and after I made friends with one of the workmen he let me in to see one of the side chapels that’s normally locked and closed to the public. One thing I thought was interesting about the church was that all over there were baskets with folded up pieces of paper on which people had written prayers – a basket in the side chapel where this morning’s mass was held, a basket in front of the main altar, a basket near another side chapel. Near the front of the church there’s a statue of St. Joseph holding the infant Jesus – the base of the statue, blocked off with a small wall, was nearly buried in these paper prayers, there was a huge pile at Joseph’s feet, and in Joseph’s hands and blanketing Jesus there were even more of them. I wrote my own prayers, folded them into cranes (small habit of mine), and added them to two of the piles. I don’t know if they were associated with a special holiday, or that particular church, or whatever, but it was really nice to see.

Proud of myself today

I hadn’t been able to get to mass earlier this week, knew I wasn’t gonna be able to go tomorrow, and also knew that I didn’t really have time to go to my normal 9am mass today. So I dragged myself out of bed and went to the 7am mass this morning. I’m proud of myself. Getting myself moving and out of the apartment before 7 (complete with a shower!) is a major accomplishment.


To all my friends, subscribers, and the whole 43T community, I hope you have a very happy and blessed Easter. Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!

Rejoice! Christ is Risen!

looking back on Lent

Ok, I really was trying to go to daily Mass more often for Lent. Looking back over Lent I probably didn’t go any more often than I would have without that resolution. I could blame that on spring break and a couple really bad weeks falling in the middle of Lent, but I won’t make excuses for myself. Now, as we approach Easter, it’s easy to go to Mass often, I always do right around Easter. Went to Daily Mass Monday and Wednesday (I was sick Monday night so I wanted to sleep as long as possible on Tuesday), then I went to Mass for Holy Thursday and Good Friday at the Pontifical North American College (the American seminary in Rome, also the largest community of Americans holding Mass), I’m going back there for Easter Vigil tonight, and last night a friend and I went to Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum. I hope I keep up the motivation to keep going after Easter at least a couple times a week.

I’m also hoping that the end of this semester won’t follow the same trend as the last few semesters have, namely that I slack of completely about going to daily Mass once I go home for break. This has several reasons – no one else in my family goes, I can’t walk to church anymore, I feel a little more out of place at daily Mass at church at home because there I’m the youngest by about 30 years if I go, I’m much closer to priests at school (and even here to a certain extent, though not the priests where I go to daily Mass cause they’re Italian) than I am at home (our parish got a new priest just last year or so, and since I’m usually at school I really don’t know him). But again, excuses. Maybe if I end up working in Pittsburgh again this summer I can find a Mass to go to in the early morning before I work.

I've actually been really good about this lately.

After about the first month I was here, during which I slacked off immensly about going to daily Mass, I’ve been pretty good about going. I’ve gone at least once a week since (I think) the beginning of February and there have been several weeks when I’ve actually made it more than once. I’m going to try to go more often during Lent – at least two or three times a week if I can.

In Rome they have this really cool tradition that’s hundreds of years old where they have a special daily Mass in a different church every day during Lent. The same list of churches for this Lenten Station thing has been used since they started this tradition way back in who knows when, so all of the churches are really old (which isn’t saying much considering this is Rome and everything here’s really old) and I guess some of the churches are only open for this particular mass. I’d really like to try to go to some of these station masses. The only problem is that the masses are at 7AM (ouch!) and always involve (for me at least) a trek and public transportation. I have very little patience for public transportation here in general, let alone before 7AM. I couldn’t get myself up early enough this morning to go but hopefully I’ll be able to make at least a couple of these things during Lent.

I've been failing at this miserably since the end of last semester...

Will try to do better. Things are settling into a “normal” routine at school so if I can find a church near school (which can’t be hard at all, considering that churches in Rome are like Starbucks in any major American city) that has a midday daily Mass I should be good.


Somehow it ended up that all of my roommates here are Catholic. I know at least Dana goes to church regularly, not sure about the other two. Anyways, we have to find a church within walking distance to our apartment. My guidebook map (which stops a couple blocks before our apartment) says there’s one nearby that we might check out today. We all want to go to the Vatican, but it’s a bit far to go for Mass every Sunday. We’ll probably try to go to Mass there at least once but it would be nice if we could go to a closer church for Sunday Mass. I think there’s a couple churches close to the school as well, maybe I could go to daily Mass between classes.

Stacey has gotten 4 cheers on this goal.


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