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Sister Nancy Mathias Reflects on Her Trip to Greece

Posted 3/29/2019


Last June 30, 2018 I retired after 33 years of service for the Diocese of Toledo.

Outdoor Mass in Ancient CorinthOutdoor Mass in Ancient Corinth

 

At that time Sister Sandra Sherman, our superior, offered me time away in a sabbatical program or travel. There was apilgrimage “In the Footsteps of St. Paul” set for October. Since St. Paul is one of my favorite saints I opted for the trip.


This pilgrimage was a wonderful spiritual experience for me. My twenty some companions were thoroughly Catholic people. The couples were married from 30 years to 50 years. Their love and appreciation for one another was palpable and inspiring.
We had Mass every day usually in a local church. Monsignor William Kubacki was the celebrant. Each day after we boarded our bus we prayed morning prayer together.

We flew to Thessaloniki, Greece. From there we drove by bus to Philippi where St. Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe. Here Lydia converted to Christianity was as baptized by Paul. We had Mass by the stream where he baptized Lydia.
The famous Cenobitic Monasteries at Meteores were next on our itinerary. The monasteries were established in the 11th century by some of the first hermits.

We visited Ephesus where Paul preached and where Mother Mary lived with St. John after the death of Christ. At Patmos we visited the cave where St. John received the Book of Revelation. On such holy ground we were walking.
Corinth was a favorite place for me. We had Mass outside in the archaeological site of the ancient ruins of Corinth where St. Paul preached. It was a beautiful warm day with a gentle breeze and I truly felt the presence of St. Paul with us.
I have just given you a few highlights of our pilgrimage. The graces that were given are still being revealed to me. Never will I read the letters of Paul to the Corinthians, Ephesians, etc. in the same way. Paul was filled with zeal for Jesus. He traveled miles and miles to carry the message to all. May I be as zealous in bringing Jesus to others.