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An American Thanksgiving in Rome

When I was studying in the states, at Notre Dame and Catholic University, Thanksgiving was a welcome calm before the storm, a few days to catch one’s breath before the final push toward final exams. Here, the semester is just nearing mid-term, and of course it is not an Italian holiday. I did notice that none of the NAC residents came to class today: The North American College, the residence for diocesan seminarians and priests from the states, had their big Thanksgiving feast for lunch.

Our director, Professora Donna Orsuto and our chef, Feda, spent all day preparing a traditional Thanksgiving feast for the residents and about 25 guests. We had invited classmates and other ‘homeless’ Americans to join us. Two gorgeous roast turkeys, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and green beans, stuffing, and even pumpkin pie. I was appropriately stuffed. We’re pretty well fed, and Feda does a great job with the Italian fare every night, but for the visitors who were used to living on their own in Rome I think getting a taste of home was truly appreciated.

It is always a nice surprise when a member of the community shares a gift that you did not know they had. The other American students in the house are a married couple, Greg and Karina, from Chicago and Houston, respectively. Karina closed our feast with a soulful rendition of Amazing Grace in a beautiful voice. You could hear a pin drop. There is much to be thankful for, being in Rome in such a community, but moments like that highlight the gifts God gives in a special way.

Happy Thanksgiving from across the pond! May you be blessed with bounty, faith, and friendship!

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