The Servant Sisters of Rome ran a small Holy Week Encounter for college women in the Eternal City.
A group of young women from four countries (Italy, Poland, Mexico, and the United States) arrived at the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother’s house in Rome on April 18th, Holy Thursday, to begin a retreat for the Easter Triduum. After watching a short video about the Eucharist and having lunch, we went to St. Peter's Basilica for the Mass of the Lord's Supper. The line was so long that we could hardly get in on time, but thanks be to God and two sisters who work in the Vatican, everything was solved and we could be at Mass with Cardinal Angelo Comastri. At the end of the Mass, we visited the various Holy Thursday altars in the Trastevere area, joining Christ as He began his Passion. We returned home for a paschal dinner, Jewish style. We saw how it would have been celebrated in the time of Jesus. We finished the day with a Holy Hour to accompany Jesus in Gethsemane.
On Good Friday, we started the day with a talk by Sr. Kristin Maria Tenreiro about mediocrity and the three enemies of the soul. Then we saw the film The Passion followed by time for prayer. It helped the girls to live this day united to the Lord, sharing his pain and agony. At 3:00 p.m. we attended the Good Friday service at the English College in Rome, which is 5 minutes from the sisters’ house. We returned home and had a brief meeting about the talk that morning before leaving for the Colosseum to join the Via Crucis that the Pope would lead that night.
On Holy Saturday, after a time of prayer in the morning, we had a talk about holiness and the four non-negotiables, given by Sr. Kristen Gardner. Immediately we got ready to eat and leave in order to get in line for the Easter Vigil with the Pope. We arrived at St. Peter’s around 2:00 pm and there was already a line! We talked and prayed during the long wait, but it was worth it. The Easter Vigil was beautiful and a grace for all. From our spot, we could see the Pope baptize and confirm eight people.
With the joy of the Resurrection, we returned home and had a small celebration with songs. On Sunday morning we went to the Easter Mass in the English College, where at the end of the Mass, one of the seminarians gave us an explanation and tour of the whole school, telling us about the English martyrs who prepared for martyrdom there. We ended the meeting with lunch, sharing the experiences of these days. For everyone, it was a time to be united to the Lord and to receive a new push in the struggle for holiness.