Below is an update from the Europe 2011 crew.
Today we said ‘Adios’ to Barcelona, our one stop in Spain. Since arriving, we have explored a variety of ancient and modern sites, architecture, and art. Susan di Giacomo, an anthropologist who works in Barcelona, guided us through part of the city, starting at Santa Maria del Mar, a jewel in Catalan architecture, and ending at the Catalan Parliament where she gave us a brief history of Catalonia as well as a glimpse into the current tensions in preserving the Catalan identity. Later that day, a group of students went to Omnium Cultural, an organization that is devoted to the practical application of preserving this identity. We had time to explore the city on our own, but for the most part were guided to some of the important sites around Barcelona for their religious, cultural, artistic, and/or political significance.
Our days have brought us to many sacred spaces. Some experienced this sacred space while sitting in Sagrada Familia, looking with wide eyes to the ceiling like a forest canopy carved out of stone, while others experienced it on a long hike to the top of one of the rounded mountains at Montserrat. For some, it was while wandering in silence around the Barcelona Cathedral observing the ornate architecture and stained glass and others while sitting in the Montserrat Basilica listening to the ethereal voices of the boys’ choir. Some experienced it while exploring the ancient Roman ruins under the streets of Barcelona in the City Historical Museum and others while observing the artistic style of Picasso as it developed throughout his life, or wandering through Park Guell and being surrounded by nature, both in the literal sense as well as its influence in much of the architecture. We have discussed and contemplated the idea of being pilgrims, open to the collective and individual journeys God is calling us to and have been overwhelmed by the opportunity to be on this journey, in the company of good friends, with many laughs and of course good food and drink! There is a general atmosphere of positivity and excitement for what has been and what is in store for us in this journey.
Europe 2011 Leadership Team