Maria Sulimirski is a Columbia University & Julliard student spending the semester in Bologna, Italy.

Ferrara, Italy. Inside the cathedral at Palm Sunday mass.

In his closing remarks at the end of Mass, Priest Don Franco called our meeting un miracolo. Two months ago, my friends and I stumbled into an empty Cathedral in Ferrara and I wound up with an incredible opportunity to sing for a packed Palm Sunday Mass.

Seven friends came along to this morning’s service, and some even participated— Stacey did a reading in flawless Italian, Jack and Monica assisted in the Communion, and John and Sebastian were champion videographers. Luise flew in early this morning from London and she made it, too, duffel bag in tow!

I was moved when Don Franco told me that people were crying as they approached him during Communion (video at bottom of the post). After the final piece in German, the congregation applauded, which was surprising and rewarding.

Once Mass finished, we migrated to the lobby of another nearby church, where twenty local students made us an amazing multi-course lunch and we spent several hours getting to know them.

Lunch with the Ferraraese students after mass.

They were really fun company! At the end of the meal, I stood and sang Schubert’s Ave Maria, the Ferraraese students gifted each of us with a palm frond, and we booked it back to Bologna. Now we sit in a circle in my room studying for tomorrow’s Italian grammar final. Pray for us?

La Programma
Ingresso- Ti seguirò
Vangelo- Lode a te o Cristo
Offertorio- Tu mi guardi dalla croce
Sanctus- “Frisina”
Comunione- Panis Angelicus
Fine- Bist du bei mir

Article by Maria Sulimirski – you can learn more about her fantastic Italian adventures at signorinamaria.tumblr.com.  Slideshow photo: celebrating Carnevale in Venice.  All photos and videos in this post were republished.