Salzburg and Munich!

Hey everyone! I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Salzburg, Austria and Munich, Germany! We left Friday morning for Salzburg and spent the day touring and visiting some of the Sound of Music sites which was really exciting! All of us watched the movie the night before we left! It was like a huge family of a 160 in our common area! Salzburg was pretty rainy that day! We definitely had wonderful food: a four course meal at the Sternbrau. They served us red wine, a brothy type of soup, turkey, and a delicious Austrian cake! I enjoyed Salzburg but I enjoyed Munich even more. We left Saturday morning for Munich which was a 2 hour drive from Salzburg. We had a beautiful Mass at this Church where Pope Benedict XV was ordained a cardinal! You could just feel the holiness and annointing in the church. So many tourists stood in the church and watched us celebrate the Mass! After Mass, my friends and I headed out on a quest to find authentic birkenstocks! That was our first quest! I bought them for 35 euro which is pretty cheap! On the way to finding birkenstocks, we found this beautiful Marian church! It was connected to all the shops. I went in and prayed for a little bit and walked around trying to take pictures until an older German woman was thoroughly upset and kept tabs on me the rest of the time I walked around while she prayed the rosary! After praying in the Church we had authentic GERMAN BRAUTWERTS! They were so delicious and on the most delicious bread! Our next mission was to find the subway. We all decided that we wanted to visit the concentration camps in Dachau. We believe that our patron saint from our household died there. So we found the subway and took that to Dachau and then a bus to the concentration camp. Once we stepped off the bus, I could just feel the loneliness and emptiness in my heart of the camp. I cannot describe in words the feelings that came when I was there. It was no longer facts from a textbook to me but reality. I walked through the bunkers and a museum. I was unable to see the gas chambers because the camp was so big and so much to see that we had to catch our bus and subway back to Munich. We did get to visit the Carmelite Monastery at the Camp and pray in the chapel for a quick minute. Each church that I enter in, I say a Memorare for my sisters in household and loved ones! I am praying for all of you! My next adventure will be to the Czech Republic the first weekend in February!

p.s.- This church is the church that they were married in in the Sound of Music! It is in Mondsee!


Finally Here!

Gross-Got! As the Austrians say! I am finally in Austria and have been here for 10 days! The flight was about 8-ish hours and went by really fast! It was so exciting finally getting off the plane and landing in Europe! Unfortunately, Austrian Air lost my bags and they were still in the U.S.! No worries though! I got them about 2 days later and luckily I brought a few extra clothes in my carry on! So I landed in Vienna and then it was a 2 hour bus ride to Gaming! Gaming is absolutely gorgeous and quaint. We are surrounded by the Alps with lots of snow! :) Our first day went well! We just got settled and had talks and a social! Our second day here, we went to Admont, Austria. Admont is about 2 hours away as well! It was beautiful. It is a monastery that we visited and had mass at! We toured the largest library in Austria which interestingly enough is the 8th wonder of the world! I wasn't able to take any pictures but I have a brochure! We ate at this small little Austrian restaurant. It was a delicious 4 course meal: cream soup, turkey with asparagus, salad (german potato salad), and an austrian cake. We all had white wine of course! :) The church was beautiful! There was a beautiful picture of St. Margaret Mary holding the Sacred Heart! At least that is what I thought it was! It was so high up! My classes started on Thursday! I'm taking Christian Marriage, Theology of the Church, Ethics, Principles of Biblical Studies 2, and Art Appreciation! I love Theology of the Church! My professor is Scottish and he is such a holy man. Him and his wife just had twins a few days ago so it was pretty exciting here at the Kartause! All my classes are so interesting and I'm learning so much just intellectually, culturally, and spiritually. Last weekend we spent the day in Vienna! We had mass and toured the city. I saw such beautiful things. I saw the Hapsburgs summer home, a place where both Hitler and John Paul II spoke, churches, and just tons and tons of history. Vienna is gorgeous! My favorite part of Vienna was St.Stephen's! The church has been my favorite and most special church to me so far. I was able to walk around and take a few pictures and then I prayed for a little bit. I prayed in front of a portrait of Our Lady that cried tears. There is a replica in Hungary. It was so beautiful! There were so many candles lit for her. I said a Memorare for all the people I love and for all my friends and sisters back home! I'm just soaking in all the beauty here! Oh yes and we went to a really cute cafe where they served my hot chocolate on a silver platter! Some friends and I visited the National Treasurey Museum where we saw the veil that Veronica wiped Jesus' face with! God is so good and I'm so thankful for all of these experiences! He is challenging me in so many ways and teaching me so much! I started working for Sister Faustina and I love my job! I wash all the altar cloths and iron them and fold them! It is such a handmaid job! Franciscan in Austria has so much to offer! The Franciscan T.O.R. sisters here are offering a Bible Study for Women on Wednesday nights for women at there home! Tonight was the first night and it has been wonderful! I'm going to also start having some spiritual direction with Sister Jean-Marie! The sisters are here to support us and encourage us! Keep praying for me and all the students as we travel and continue to grow!
P.S. the picture is of Me and my household sister Maria at Admont


Goodbye U.S. & Guten-Tag Osterreich!

For the last couple of days I have been busy packing, packing, packing! It is finally here! I leave for Austria today!! My flight leaves at 2:29pm from Columbia Metropolitan Airport and arrives at 3:51pm at Dulles International in Washington, D.C. I then connect to my international flight on Austrian Air at 6:05pm and arrive in Vienna at 9:00am on Monday! That means that it will be 3:00am here in eastern time in the U.S.! I've been pretty busy trying to pack warm clothes, shoes, medicines, tolietries, school supplies, etc. to last 4 months! Spiritually I've been praying for my family, friends back home and at Franciscan, for Jake, the Consecration to Our Lady "My Immaculate Heart will Triumph" and praying to be open to all that God has in store for me! Please continue to pray for me and all other students embarking on the pilgrimage- for our safe travels, our studies, and our openess to the Holy Spirit! May God Bless you! fiat.

Oh yes! When I get to Austria, I will try to put pictures up as soon as possible! I cannot wait to share them with you!! God Bless! :)