Monday, September 26, 2016

REMEMBER LAST SEPTEMBER?

Was the Pope's visit really last summer? Yes, but it seems like a different city now, a different world.

Did my husband and I, in our kitchen, watch the ceremony of Catholic mass, find ourselves praying along with Catholics for the ideas the Pope mentioned, more than mentioned? Yes, the Pope told us and showed us what was important by what he said and did, and we knew it was really of major importance -- that people of all races and different beliefs connect with one another.

Yes, his way of seeing everyone, making all the people who lined the streets, waved, prayed, called out to him -- the way he saw individuals touched us. The way he touched, kissed, interacted with children touched us. The way Pope Francis never seemed tired even after long long days in the pope mobile, or at churches  conducting rituals, touched us.

Yes, seeing this man starting out early in he morning and then seeing him at the end of the long day turning down the street and heading to where he was staying -- we knew he had to be exhausted. We watched for signs of weariness. We never saw Pope Francis weary.

Love. It was in the air -- his love for the old, young-- very small or odd-looking, crippled or plain regular folks -- he gave love, got love, we loved him, the streets, the crowds. We loved our city's love for this man.

Yes, we followed him as he fulfilled this schedule. 

Thursday, September 24
5:00 p.m. Arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
6:30 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Friday, September 25
8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly.
11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center.
5:00 p.m. Pope Francis Central Park Procession.
6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Saturday, September 26
8:40 a.m. Departure John F. Kennedy International Airport for Philadelphia, and a full schedule of meetings on Saturday.

Sunday, September 27
9:15 a.m. meetings with Bishops.
11 a.m. visit to Curran-Correctional Facility.
4 p.m. Papal Mass for World Meeting of Families.
7 p.m. visit with organizers, volunteers, benefactors of the World Meeting of Families.
8 p.m. departure for return to Rome 
Tears filled my eyes, and maybe yours when he departed.

The world we are living in right now, needs his spirit, the love he gave us -- love for each other, love for anyone with whom you interact. 

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