An Essay By Ben // 4/10/2000

Dear Homeschooling Friends,

All roads lead to Rome.... Well, maybe not all roads, but my road leads there really soon. I'm going to Rome this Friday! I can't believe it quite, but it's true.

I'm going--along with a group of boys from around the USA--to make a pilgrimage in Rome by walking the streets, praying in the beautiful churches, and celebrating the Easter Holy Week masses with the current Pope--Pope John Paul II. For me, as a Catholic, this is the best possible time to make a pilgrimage. Not only do I get to visit the center of the Roman Catholic church during the most important celebration of the year (Easter), but I get to do it in the year 2000! Also, the Pope probably doesn't have a whole lot of time left to live.... This might be his last Easter. He has served Christ's church very well. I have a lot of respect for him, and, it seems, many non-Catholics also respect the Pope simply as a great man. But, anyway, it will be a great feeling to be among tens of thousands of people who share my faith, and who have traveled from around the world just to celebrate Easter mass in St. Peter's with the Pope.
However, I'm going to be missing a whole week of school, during which time I have a quiz in Western Civilization. Also, apricot will have to be put off a little longer than usual while I'm gone. I'll be getting back on the 24th, so apricot should be updated by the 26th or 27th, depending on how tired and lost in school work I am once I get back. Although, the fact that I'm missing school and "losing" valuable time worries me, I'm trying to tell myself that this trip is not to be missed--that, in the long run, it will be worthwhile that I went.

I'll be thinking of you all (as best as I can imagine you) while I'm there, enjoying the delicious cappuccinos on hot, sunny streets. I'll keep you in mind as I step into ancient churches and gaze awestruck at the beautiful paintings, sculptures, and architecture I find in each one. I'll remember you as I sing along with thousands--including the Pope and the bishops and cardinals of the world--in St. Peter's Basilica as the clock strikes midnight and Easter 2000--the celebration of new life--begins.

I'm off! Have a great Easter yourselves!

Ben Kniaz


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