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Faith + Culture = Italy Trip 2018
Rachelle Garbarine

Gibbons students and educators were among the tens of thousands of faithful who attended Easter Sunday Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square, participating in an experience and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

“Even though we came from countries all over the world and spoke hundreds of different languages, we were united as we communally prayed the Our Father in Latin,”                         said Emily Bradfield '18 

The Gibbons group – 43 students and six educators, led by Mike Rogosich, assistant principal/student activities - traveled to Rome as part of an annual pilgrimage

Italy trip 2018 at Easter Sunday Mass at Vatican.

made possible through the school-sponsored trip to Italy, which takes place during Easter break and is a long-standing tradition among Crusaders. They joined pilgrims from around the world who gathered in the square decorated with spring flowers to hear Pope Francis deliver the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” - to the city and to the world - Easter message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Breathtaking is how Emily Bradfield ’18 described standing in St. Peter's Square on Easter Sunday with other Catholics from around the world. “Even though we came from countries all over the world and spoke hundreds of different languages, we were united as we communally prayed the Our Father in Latin,” she said. 

On this trip, as on earlier ones, the group traveled throughout Italy, visiting Rome, Assisi, Florence, as well as Pisa and Venice. To many, the trip is about experiencing Italy's culture and most everything else the country has to offer, from museums to shopping and food. It is also about students expanding their horizons and learning about their faith and about themselves.

“In my faith life,” noted Jaime Veneziale ’18, “I found out how big our God really is and the impact he has had around the world.” He said he also discovered on the trip that he is an extrovert and that he “loved mingling with all different people as I explored a new country and culture.”

“Being surrounded by a rich Italian history,” said Emily Bradfield ’18. “I realized I was part of a world colored by cultures very different from my own.”  

And educators learned about their students. John Henderson, math educator and one of the adult chaperones, said his favorite part of the trip was a chance to spend time with students outside of school and get to know them on a different level. “It was amazing to me to hear their stories and be able to share an experience like Italy with them,” he said. “I was impressed with their desire to learn about some of the foundational figures in the church and their desire to learn how some of the places we visited had a direct impact on Cardinal Gibbons High School.”