A Whirlwind Papal Journey Touches Neumann University
At the generous invitation of Bishop Timothy Senior, Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Tony and I left our home in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the 26th of September, to journey through the various checkpoints and arrive at the Seminary hours before Pope Francis was anticipated to arrive. We were grateful for the opportunity to be among the seminarians to welcome our Pope to his home for the weekend. Never, ever did we imagine or consider possible the events that followed. Having been to Rome and the Vatican this past June and having seen Pope Francis preside at the liturgy for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, we could only rejoice that once again we might be in his presence at a place we both love … our seminary.
The experience moved from total surprise when the seminary staff asked Tony and me to wait by the “red rope” at the very bottom of the front steps leading to the front door of the seminary to joy at the sight of Bishop Senior arriving, stopping right in front of us, followed by the “popemobile” out of which stepped our Pope Francis. Within seconds, Pope Francis stood in our midst and Bishop Senior beckoned Tony and me to approach and be introduced as Neumann University’s president and ambassador. These sudden “reality bites” turned two hearts to beat fast, directed our hands to reach out and touch his and our voices to whisper “welcome, Pope Francis on behalf of all of Neumann; benvenuto, Papa Francesco!”
A few seconds…a sacred moment in time that is forever etched in the minds and the hearts of two very grateful pilgrims and memorialized in photos that we hope will serve our children and grandchildren a lifetime of joy, wonder, and beauty grounded in their faith and in their Church. In those few seconds at the bottom of the steps of our seminary, Tony and I experienced with depth the joy, wonder and the beauty of our faith. Grazie, Archbishop Chaput, Bishop Senior, and the staff of World Meeting of Families 2015 – you made it happen here in Philadelphia! Neumann University is grateful.
Pace e Bene,
Rosalie M. Mirenda, Ph.D.
A Final Ode to Family: “I pray that our days of prayer and reflection on the importance of the family for a healthy society will inspire families to continue to strive for holiness and to see the Church as their constant companion whatever the challenges they may face.”