Wine tasting, Italian culture benefits student pilgrimage

Some wine tasting events are swanky get-togethers where friends and malcontents gather to taste wines they cannot afford. Others are gatherings to sip fine wines to raise funds for a charitable cause.

Sacred Heart Parish Hall is hosting a wine tasting event Friday to raise money to send several students to Rome to witness two previous popes be canonized as saints.

Students will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Rome, with Father Denis Heames, to celebrate the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

Fairview junior David Lyden is one student planning to travel to Rome with Heames and grow in his Catholic faith.

“This will benefit me as a student to learn more about the early roots of Catholicism as it rose from Rome," Lyden said. "It will also help me deepen my faith and continue to seek the Lord and what it is he asks of me in my life and to walk with Him. The world does not need heroes or great leaders today, it needs Saints ... Saints like John XXIII and John Paul II. Saints are the answer to the problems of today's world. This pilgrimage helps us on our own journey to sainthood.”

Before the group can embark on this overseas adventure, prior funding must occur to pay for the trip.

To help offset the travel costs, contributions can be made by attending a wine and Italian culture-filled night at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall. Tickets cost $50, and are available for purchase at Saint Mary’s University Parish.

Alongside Lyden, Midland freshman Jillian Dawson has every intent to attend this excursion through Rome.

Dawson said people should purchase a ticket because a wine tasting is a fun way to support a wonderful cause.

“Before it was even officially announced, I had a feeling as if God wanted me to go,” she said. “There have been some bumps in the road, but I am determined to go and glorify The Lord in the process. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so blessed.”


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