By Chris Ice

By Chris Ice

Climbing the Holy Stairs made me reflect on the ultimate suffering of Christ.

Click here to read the entire October 2019 newsletter

I just returned from our Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph pilgrimage to Rome, and I have a lot of reflections to share from such a powerful, spiritually enriching event. When I first started planning this pilgrimage with Bishop Johnston, I envisioned an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the saints of the Catholic Church and experience a small part of their lives. Knowing many of them served the poor and vulnerable reminded me of our work at Catholic Charities and the rich history of our faith. Here are a few highlights:

  • We had the opportunity to visit the tombs of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John, St. Mark, St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Anthony of Padua, along with modern day saints like St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII.
  • We saw where St. Francis received a special message from Christ in the 13th century telling him to “Rebuild my Church.”
  • Being a part of the Papal audience was incredible! Pope Francis drove right by us, greeting all in attendance. Bishop Johnston was able to visit personally with the Holy Father expressing prayers for him from our diocese.
  • We visited the first Christian church built in the 4th century and the current official church of the Holy Father – St. John Lateran. Having Bishop Johnston pray the Mass at this church was deeply moving.
  • Across the street from St. John Lateran were the Holy Stairs where Christ ascended to meet Pontius Pilate. Climbing the Holy Stairs on our knees caused pain and suffering but made me reflect on the ultimate suffering of Christ.

Daily Mass, daily rosary, and many other prayers were offered for our family and friends in Kansas City and St. Joseph. I carried your intentions with me and included you in prayer throughout the pilgrimage. May God richly bless each of you and your support of our work as we strive to mirror Christ and the saints to those in need.

Chris Ice


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