Sunday, March 24, 2013

The first days with our new Holy Father

 THE SMOKE:
We waited for the smoke... The picture on the right is the night I had my camera... The night of the white smoke I did not even bring a camera because I was sure there would not be an election so early.  I was wrong!!  Habemus Papam!  But who??  Many of us, when we heard the announcement, George..  Then we heard the chants.. "Francesco"... I thought, no way, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago..  But soon I realized, it was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina.  I still thought out loud, "WHO??"   It was an amazing night in the square but I apologize, since I did not have my camera I have  no pictures to share.  I can only say, it was a feeling of anticipation I have never felt before and will never forget.
THEN THERE WAS THE FIRST ANGELUS.
Here you can see the Holy Father praying the Angelus with us from the window of the Papal Apartments.  Well you can't really see him very well, but trust me, its him. 
This is a picture from the Inaguration Mass.  The seminarians from the North American College were able to assist by escorting the priest who were distributing Holy Communion to the people in St. Peter Square.  If you watched the Mass on television you would have seen us carrying the white and yellow umbrellas.
PALM SUNDAY:

From left to right:  Sean Grismer (Diocese of Rockford), Cardinal Raymond
Leo Burke (Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura),
yours truly (Holy and Venerable Diocese of Gaylord),
and Adam Potter (Diocese of Pittsburgh)
 Here is a picture with Cardinal Burke before the procession in with the palm branches.  I was blessed to be able to be very close to the Cardinals and the Holy Father for this Mass as you will see in the pictures below.  This was my first time meeting Cardinal Burke and I was deeply touched by his kindness, patience and loving character.  He generously gave us 5 minutes of his time when we just walked up to him in the midst of all the Cardinals in the back of the procession line before Mass.





AT MASS; THE HOLY FATHER INCENSES THE ALTAR:
As you can see we had pretty darn good seats. After processing out to the middle of the square surrounding the obelisque, we continued with the palms to process up the middle of the square  to the alter in the front of St. Peters Basilica.  We had no idea we were going to be sitting so close.  Our seats were about 40 or 50 yards from the Holy Fathers chair and the altar.  After Mass we were able to walk up behind the altar, as you can see in the following pictures, thanks to the Blessed Mother who has helped me almost every time I have been to these type of events.  If you remember, it was her direct intercession that I was able to serve for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on New Years Eve at Vespers.  Ave Immaculata! 




Here the Papal MC, Guido Marini, kisses the Holy Father's ring after Mass when he escorts him into the open air Mercedes for his drive through the square.  



We were able to walk right out to the Altar while the Holy Father was driving through the square.  Here you can see the sisters and some other personnel already dismantling the altar. 


Here is a picture of me with our Lady undoer of Knots.  Pope Francis has a great devotion to our Lady under this title.  He brought this devotion and grew it amongst the people of Argentina.  Please click here to learn more.  


AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PRAYERS.  WE MISS YOU AND WE REMEMBER THE DIOCESE DAILY IN OUR PRAYERS.  MAY OUR HOLY MOTHER MARY OF MOUNT CARMEL, THE PATRONESS OF OUR DIOCESE, WATCH OVER US AND INTERCEED FOR US AS WE CONTINUE IN THIS YEAR OF FAITH WITH OUR NEW HOLY FATHER FRANCIS.  AND MAY SHE ALWAYS KEEP HIM SAFE UNDER HER MANTLE OF PROTECTION.  TOGETHER WITH YOU IN THE SACRED AND IMMACULATE HEARTS. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you sooo much for sharing with us Chris. Joe and I watched every single minute we could from the beginning of the conclave right on through the Inagruation of Pope Francis! I came home to watch Palm Sunday via Vatican TV. So pleased that you are able to be in Rome. Love and continued prayers for all the seminarians! Margaret Siemiantkowski

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