Greetings, friends of Floriani!
Thanks to our loyal and generous supporters, we are hitting the ground this new year with serious momentum. Our end-of-year fundraising campaign was a huge success; we met and surpassed the $27K matching gift. All in all, we were able to raise over $50K. We are so grateful to everyone who made one-time donations, increased their monthly gifts, or became monthly supporters, and we are especially thankful to the special few who put up the matching gift. We have exciting projects planned, and your donations are making them possible.
First, next month we will be releasing our album, Chants of Deliverance, which is a compilation of psalms and hymns that exorcists have recommended as particularly effective in the spiritual warfare and in the rite of exorcism. We want to get this album playing in parishes and homes around the country, and your support makes this possible.
Second, we raised enough money to record a state-of-the-art, professional-grade choral album. A comment we hear all the time is, “You need more music recorded!”, but until now, everything we have recorded was recorded by us, without the expertise of a sound engineer. Artistic excellence is one of our pillars, and the cost to achieve the quality of recording that we desire is not cheap. The total cost of the project will easily reach $30K, but thanks to the injection of financial support from our end-of-year campaign, we are now planning to record Floriani’s flagship album this coming August.
Again, we want to thank everyone who donated for their support. You make this mission happen!
CARTAGENA PILGRIMAGE 2024
We are excited to announce our upcoming pilgrimage to Cartagena, Colombia, July 3rd-8th, in conjunction with The Best of Cartagena travel agency. Sign up at https://thebestofcartagena.com/
Adventures in the Himalayas
Last time, Giorgio described the first part of his trip to Tibet. His story closed with a cliffhanger: "If you haven’t thought my trip is crazy enough, just wait. The next morning we awoke from our tea lodge to go see and touch the mighty Mount Everest. All of the sudden. Kaboom!!!!! We hear a strange explosion outside of our lodging. I immediately knew what had happened. It was a helicopter crash."
And now, part two.
I sprinted out of my room as fast as I could and saw the black cloud not far from where we were staying. I found the crash site and the helicopter in flames. I prayed, under my breath, the divine mercy chaplet for any victims who may have been in the crash. Then I saw the pilot sitting beside the stream where the helicopter crashed, dazed and confused with the first layer of his skin burnt off. Several of us tried to help him, taking off his burnt clothes and pouring ice cold water on the burns. I was then commanded to go retrieve first aid gauze. By the time I returned he was already naked, in a stretcher, and the rescue helicopter arrived to save him. He lived 10 days and passed away the day we returned from Nepal. His name was Prakesh Sedhai; God rest his soul. Here is an article on what happened.
This same day included a hike up Kala Patthar (18.5K feet) which is the tiny mountain across from Everest. I almost gave up before reaching the top, but decided to pull through, despite my inability to breathe and walk in general. On the top, we met a group of Italians, who were excited to speak Italian with me. Despite my bad mood, we decided to sing a few hymns, including Schubert’s Ave Maria and an Italian Christmas Carol called Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle. I’ll say this: it’s not easy singing in a location without being able to breathe properly. But I am a member of Floriani.
This same day we descended and decided to hike our way through the dark of night to the town of Zhongla (again, not the best idea). However, upon reaching the town, we walked into a small tea lodge and happenstanced upon our hiking friend Anthony from Australia. After an agonizing hike, he was a welcome sight and we were overjoyed at his presence. We consumed a few liters of tea and beer together and feasted on Tibetan noodles. The next morning, the manager of the tea lodge wanted to take a photo shoot with me in my traditional Tibetan attire (FYI even in the Himalayas, this type of attire is not common and has faded as a relic into the past; an American like me in their traditional garb was quite entertaining to them). We departed our friend Anthony in Zhongla and began our stretch to Gokyo Lakes: the Caribbean of the Himalayas.
This involved both crossing the pass of Cho La and a night hike through a glacial moraine (also a very bad idea). A moraine is a glacial wasteland to say the minimum; it involves a very sketchy hike through paths that are constantly shifting due to falling glaciers. Doing this at night was an even scarier venture as we could hear and see parts of the trail falling into the abyss below. We were warned, but we also had a schedule to keep… Yes, you can judge us.
Arriving at Gokyo lakes, we spent a day in this lovely area and in which I dedicated my free time to prayer and reading. After this, we returned to the small mountain town of Namche Bazaar (12K feet). The history of this incredible little Himalayan village can be found here.
Following this, we descended to the town of Lukla and took the most dangerous flight in the world back to civilization.
We spent a few days in the wonderful city of Kathmandu which is a wonderland of cashmere and overpopulated streets. One experience I’ll share is when we worked with the Missionaries of Charity in their home for disabled women. It was a humbling experience to see not only how the missionaries cared for these women but how much these women cared for each other.
We departed Kathmandu and said farewell to our dear friends in this faraway land. In brief, here’s my takeaways from our adventure:
Hiking the Himalayas is an excruciating & beautiful experience.
Material poverty ought not keep us from having a cheerful & generous spirit (which is ripe amongst the Nepalese).
God desires the kinship of all mankind.
Prayer sustains the heart of man.
Don’t bring 50lbs in your backpack on a 121-mile hike with 40K feet elevation gain.
Don’t hike in a glacial moraine past 5PM.
Thanks for reading everyone. Glad to share my world adventure with you.
Thanks to your continued support, Floriani’s mission has picked up speed and continues to grow. Please consider support us in a very specific way by contributing to the following needs:
For Giorgio: A new piano keyboard that has powerful recording capabilities & organ sounds. "This would unleash a whole world of artistic potential for me. I would be forever grateful."
A Mission to Mexico: Help us bring sacred beauty to 3 cities in Mexico this March 13-18.
If you have it in your heart (and your bank account) to fund either of these items, please email us at email@example.com
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER OF FLORIANI
Questions? Feel free to email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are so grateful for your support! Please keep us in your prayers!
- Giorgio, Graham, Joe, and Thomas