The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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June 16, 2000 Issue
Local News

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 18-25.

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.

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