I apologize for this being my first post, but I hope that you will find it useful.
Today Pope Benedict opened the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, and he also proclaimed two new Doctors of the Church. This is a very historic moment, since there are only 35 of them, including these two.
Having recently been ordained a Deacon, I was blessed to be able to distribute Holy Communion at this Mass. We Priests and Deacons were given seats in the Sanctuary of St. Peter's Square, right behind the Cardinals and Bishops. We were about 20 feet from the Pope's Chair, and 50 feet from the altar. We stood perhaps 20 feet from the altar holding ciboria full of hosts during the Eucharistic Prayer. What a remarkable experience to have so soon after my ordination. I was amazed at how easily my focus turned from being so close to the Pope to holding Jesus in my hand as soon as he pronounced the words of consecration. How humbling it was to then be sent out into the square to give Jesus to the pilgrims who were there!
This October is an amazing month to be in Rome. On Thursday we have the 50th anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council, then we have the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. Marianne Cope and five others on Sunday the 21st, and, on Sunday the 28th, there is the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops.
I did not have my camera, since they would not allow it, but I did take two photos with my cell phone (during the Angelus after Mass), so that you can have a sense of how close I was able to be to the Holy Father.