With the election of Pope Francis in March, a pilgrimage this year to Italy is especially meaningful for two Franciscan sisters participating in the trip.
Sister Edna Michael, a sister at Tiffin's St. Francis, said Sister Shirley Shafranek and Sister Angela Marie Keil left in early September for a three-week trip to Rome and other areas throughout Italy.
Sister Michael said the trip is centered around the life and legacy of St. Francis of Assisi, the name that inspired the founding of the Franciscan order. Because the new pope chose Francis as his name, she said, the pilgrimage this year holds significance.
She said Shafranek and Sister are to travel in Italy to visit "places where St. Francis prayed, preached, lived and visited."
St. Francis devoted his life to following God's call and strengthening His church, she said, and those seeking to walk in St. Francis' footsteps often experience an overwhelming "feeling of peace."
The trip's itinerary, she said, includes time in the Riety Valley, Assisi and other locations, in addition to three days in Rome.
The sisters, she said, will have the opportunity to have a general audience with
Pope Francis while in Rome.
The pilgrimage is to conclude in early October, Michael said.