Stories from The Grotto

  • When He Saw Me

    When He Saw Me

    Making eye contact with someone is an intensely personal experience. And then realizing during the mania of the papal visit, that Pope Francis did make eye contact and look directly at you, is incredibly surprising and intimate. 

    Looking back I wish I was more present, but I know each step along the way was guided. I had been standing for easily five hours by the time he arrived in his Fiat, yet I felt nothing but joy and elation and he turned around and waved at us.

    I had a camera in both hands, and I tried waving back, and at the same time, my heart was exploding.

    "Dear brothers and sisters, I thank you for the way in which each of you has answered Jesus’ question which inspired your own vocation: “What about you?”. I encourage you to be renewed in the joy and wonder of that first encounter with Jesus, and to draw from that joy renewed fidelity and strength. I look forward to being with you in these days and I ask you to bring my affectionate greetings to those who could not be with us, especially the many elderly priests and men and women religious who join us in spirit."

    -- Pope Francis, Sept. 26, 2015
    Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia