For thirteen JSerra sophomores spring break was anything but a spring break. The students visited Paris and London in only a week.
The goal was to make Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities come to life. We saw Saint Antoine where the peasants suffered oppression and poverty, the Palace of Versailles where the King and Queen lived in spectacular opulence and luxury. The Place De La Concorde where Sydney Carton sacrificed his life on the guillotine, the port of Dover where Lucy discovered her father was still alive. Also, brought to life was the Temple Bar where Charles Darnay was acquitted, and London Bridge where the heads of traitors where placed on stakes.
There were many other highlights of the trip, including attending Easter Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral and seeing a play in London’s West End
*Part 2 of the special Legends of China blog series
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Everyone’s Chinese is continuing to improve with each passing day as everyone has learned how to construct even more sentences in Chinese such as “I am American,” and “I love you.” Today was a big and exciting day as the group had the opportunity to visit the famous Great Wall and climb its steep steps. There is a well-known Chinese proverb that states, “only when you are able to climb to the very top of the Great Wall will you be able to become a true hero.” This proverb holds so much meaning to the people of China, it was an honor to partake in such a moment. In the evening, the group watched an exciting acrobatics show with awe inspiring stunts, leaving the group more than exhausted and excited for the next days adventures.
I had the great pleasure of hearing our very own JSerra Choir sing as
the featured choir at the 10:00 AM mass at the historic–and
magnificent–Duomo in Siena. The Duomo is a beautiful Marian cathedral,
having been dedicated to the Assumption of Our Blessed Virgin Mary.
We were honored to have Father Vincent’s confer, Father Martin celebrate
mass. Father Martin, a Norbertine father who formerly taught at Mater
Dei and Santa Margarita high schools, is in residence in Tuscany until
For those who have never visited–it’s definitely worth the trip! The
Duomo is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and art. Records of
earliest masses at the Duomo date back to 1215 AD. Our mass today was
celebrated in the private sacristy chapel.
The Duomo has many notable features. From its facade to its pulpit each
is more impressive than the last. We could not help but be in awe of the
Duomo’s inlaid marble mosaic floor. Artistically depicting gorgeous
images from the Old Testament, the Sibyls, and virtues, the inlay
covers the whole floor of the cathedral.
Equally impressive were the young men and women of the JSerra Choir.
Under the extraordinary direction of Mr Andrew Alvarez, the choir was
simply magnificent. Immediately following mass, the choir treated
friends and family as well as the Duomo’s visitors to a special concert
in front of the Duomo’s main altar. Visitors making the pilgrimage to
the Duomo Di Siena had no idea the treat they’d be enjoying when they
arrived. Of course, the rest of us who have enjoyed the talented group
of JSerra’s best and brightest were proud that they had “outdone