Simple and Joyous ?>

Simple and Joyous

I have a good friend who walked the Camino five times over the course of five different summers. I think she has walked all the possible routes, from the Frances, to the Primitivo, to the Camino del Norte… Once she started from Lourdes, which makes for 530 miles. Pretty impressive. But I never could understand why she would do that. It almost annoyed me that she would choose to spend the summer walking on her own instead of resting and…

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Trust ?>


Reflecting on the fruits of the Camino, not only do I keep my eyes open to see Providence at work but also, I realized because Providence is at work – whether I see it or not in the moment – I go about life in a different way. I did not know it until I had to make a big decision; really big. After coming back from Italy where I spent my vacation, I started to get serious about finding…

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Providence ?>


We left Lugo the morning of September 15 last year. As Fall begins, September in Europe is beautiful but unpredictable. That morning the sky was dark and gray and we got some rain. We actually got rain most days, but every day the sky would pour down while we were sitting at a bar having breakfast, or after we had reached our destination, or as we were taking a break under a shelter. Thus, while we enjoyed the cool air…

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Going to St James’ ?>

Going to St James’

My husband walked the Camino in 2005, with a friend of his. They started out in Burgos and walked 500 kilometers to the tomb of Saint James in Santiago. At the time, I did not know him. When we started dating, he told me he had walked The Way, but never went into the details. I saw the pictures – yellow plains, ancient churches, and smiling people – but that was all. As important and life-changing as he told me…

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A Man; a Witness; a Friend ?>

A Man; a Witness; a Friend

I am back home, in California, after a few weeks spent back home in Italy. Short digression: I actually never thought I could ever say so – yet it was the promise Christ made me in the Gospel on the day I got married. He said, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal…

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Year of Mercy ?>

Year of Mercy

Now that I know what Catholic Charities of California is and does, I feel I am qualified to do the job. Ha-ha. I wish this was true. On the other hand, this has been too interesting to give in. So I keep talking to Shan, and asking questions. And she goes back to Italy, to spend time with an American friend who is now living in Rome. I can picture her: sitting on the back seat of a Vespa, both her…

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What is Catholic Charities of California? ?>

What is Catholic Charities of California?

I meet Shan again, finally, after what seemed to me to be a very very long time. She traveled, to Italy and Portugal and Spain, while, on my part, I finally got my Green Card and got back to working. Pretty big deal. We were not able to keep in touch, except for a few emails, because while traveling, she wrote to me, “I was so caught up in the experience that I only lived in the present.” Which is…

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Charity ?>


Purpose – this is what I was reflecting on the last time I sat down to writing. It is an open question, a bleeding wound, which keeps my eyes open and my heart asking, questioning reality. Particularly, I feel the urgency of purpose when my time is free. Don’t get me wrong: I looooove to have free time, to rest and nourish myself. Time I can use for what I value among the many things life has gifted me with,…

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Purpose ?>


Thinking back at that first meeting with Shan on Santana Row, that warm afternoon that gave life to these surprising (to me at least) conversations – as they are showing me things of myself that I did not know before… There is one thing that is still very much fixed in my mind and my heart and that, to this day, touches me profoundly: it is how fast we dived into talking about what life consists of, and what deep…

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Extraordinary ?>


Once back in Sacramento, Shan knew she had to fulfill her penance and  do something good for the poor, as the priest had asked her to. She did it, from what I understand, to respond, to correspond to God’s love for her. As she said, “He had mercy on me: He gave when I was not even looking; when my father was sick and dying.” But this is exactly the way I work as well: when I am showered with…

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