I hope you are able to travel to Rome. It is a remarkable experience in life.
I am not sure I understand, however, how you anticipate this would assist in discerning a vocation…unless you think your vocation is to the diocese of Rome or to be, for example, a monk of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Paul Outside the Walls or the Trappist Abbey of Tre Fontane.
Even for an institute of consecrated life whose general superior is in Rome, discernment of vocations does not really occur in the generalate.
I think spending a year working and saving your money for such a trip would be beneficial in many ways. Others have done it. So can you. Pope Francis was a working man before ha became a priest. Peace.
I agree with Don Ruggero. I am not sure how going to Rome would help you discern. If anything you might not be able to discern anything because Rome is a fascinating and beautiful city that could possibly only serve to distract you.
Have you considered discerning closer to home? If you are in fact being called, it would happen wherever you are.
I am not a fan of the fund raising idea. You should look to yourself to pay for travel that is for most people, a once in a lifetime trip. Perhaps you should find a job that will allow you to save up, and as you are saving money, learn more, discern more at home.
Just to clarify, I am not unsympathetic of traveling to Rome if the vocation being discerned is, in fact, in Rome. I have met many men and women over the course of my priesthood who were called to a vocation outside their native country, including Americans who were living and working in Italy, France, the Iberian peninsula, and the United Kingdom to speak just of the Continent. The current abbot of the Abbey of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome is British. Mostly, these were monastic vocations, I would hasten to add.
However, in such a case, one should be in touch with the vocation director of the institute of perfection to which one thinks he is called…or with the vocation director for the Diocese of Rome. And, given the nature of such a visit, I would not describe it with the word “pilgrimage.” On the other hand, having worked with those on pilgrimage, it is not an occasion of vocational discernment…which is a particular process. Hence my confusion.
The original poster should have a spiritual director to assist him and, if he is not yet in touch with the vocation director of the institute of consecrated life about which he is interested, he should be in contact with the vocation director of his diocese as a preliminary step.
Let’s answer this question before going any further: diocesan or religious order?
If diocesan, this needs to be taken up with the diocesan vocations director. Also, get a spiritual director, pronto.
Religious Order – any initial attractions?
I think what you mean by “greatly benefit from first pilgrimage to Rome” means one obtains great graces by going to Rome – if the visit is done with the right intentions.
You’re going to Rome to obtain the graces of clarity for this attraction for the priesthood – is that what’s being said?
If you’ve financial impediments, then it most certainly will be up to you personally to pay them off. Only after doing that will you be free to spend the way you wish.
At this moment, you have two financial goals: debt retirement and pilgrimage fund raising.
You can sell peanut brittle and summer sausage, or host a bake sale. Sell peppermints for a dime apiece, and see what happens. One charity was able to build their headquarters with the monies raised by selling candies.
I would think going to Rome to discern a vocation would be like visiting the Pentagon to see if one is interested in a military career. In both cases, I’d think visiting the “front lines” would be a better and more telling experience.