Pilgrims leave Friday for Rome
Each person in the group of 200 has different expectations
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
A diocesan pilgrimage group, led by Bp. Robert Banks, departs for Rome on June 16. The group consists fo 200 pilgrims from throughout the diocese. They each have different expectations or reasons for going, but all look forward to the journey.
Sue Brettingen of St. Hyacinth Parish in Antigo, who was recently commissioned in religious education, will be making the trip with her mother, Joyce Sharon, and sister, Lisa Ourada.
"I always wanted to see the Catacombs," she said. "I often think about the early Christians who were under persecution. This is a place where they could gather. I am also looking forward to the side trip to Assisi."
The Jubilee Year attracted Charles and Patricia Stangel of Holy Innocents Parish, Manitowoc, to the pilgrimage.
"This opportunity in the company of our bishop peaked our interest," said Charles. "We also like the
idea of a tour. When you are an unescorted tourist you may miss something. I am looking forward to the
Vatican and seeing as much as we can see."
The Pilgrimage coincides with the beginning of the International Eucharistic Congress in Rome, June
Members of the tour group will have the opportunity to earn a plenary indulgence. One may earn a
plenary indulgence by visiting Rome during a Holy Year. The plenary indulgence is earned by visiting
designated holy sites and fulfilling the following requirements: make a sacramental confession, receive
the Holy Eucharist, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
The tour includes visits to Vatican City, St. Susanna Church, the official American parish church of
Rome, the four major basilicas of Rome--St. Peter's, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran and St. Paul
Outside the Walls--the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon.
Carolyn Gapinski of New Franken, a member of Holy Cross Parish, Bay Settlement, visited Rome years
ago, and always wanted to make a return trip.
"My dream was to go back," she said. "I look forward to seeing the Sistine Chapel now that it is vibrant
in color and refurbished."
Carolyn and her husband, Dr. Peter Gapinski, are taking their five children, ranging in ages from 19 to
four-years-old, on the pilgrimage. Carolyn hopes the trip is educational in addition to spending quality
family time together.
"Some of these sites have been around for 2,000 years," she said. "We have the opportunity to see the
deep roots of Christianity. We have been watching videos about Rome to prepare for the trip."
For JoAnn and Bill Vanden Langenberg of Oneida the pilgrimage will also be a celebration of 35 years
of marriage. They were married on June 19, 1965.
"When I opened The Compass that day and saw the dates, I though this is where God wants us to be,"
said JoAnn. "I am a little nervous, but am anxious to go."
Dorothy LeGrave, a member of Holy Trinity Parish, Casco, admits that she is apprehensive to fly
overseas, but one special moment will make the entire trip worthwhile.
"If I can just catch a glimpse of the Pope, I know it will bring me to tears," she said.
LeGrave and the group will have the opportunity to see Pope John Paul on the sixth day of the trip when
they visit St. Peter's Basilica for the papal audience.
"Everything will be great," said LeGrave. "We will be in our Lord's hands."
The group returns on June 23.