We got up early and made it back out to the Parkway so we could get seats long before the Papal Mass this afternoon.
So exciting!! We can't wait! Fr Tom is a concelebrant along with several hundred other priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals! What a memorable day!
We saw Pope Francis yesterday in person - twice!! We were positioned on the Ben Franklin Parkway so that we were between 2 streets on the pope's parade route. I mostly just absorbed the moment and didn't focus on taking pictures but I did get one blurry image of his approaching motorcade.
We also enjoyed lots of entertainment by musicians, dancers, a comedian, and more! We were sitting near the Sisters of Life and we got a big kick out of them rocking out and dancing to some of the songs!! One of my sweet friends was among the Sisters so we had a little reunion!
Our little group had a nice spot right in front of one of the jumbotrons where we stayed for pretty much all day.
Here we were excitedly waiting to get through the checkpoint.
We're watching the papal mass at the basilica on a jumbotron on Ben Franklin Pkwy.
Around the time of consecration a ring appeared around the sun. A rainbow ring. It might be hard to see here. Amazing!!
We're waiting to get through the checkpoint. The Pope is at the Basilica! I'm here with Dina, Sarah, and Fr Tom Duhé. So excited!!
I'm trying to catch up now a little so I wanted to share some of the highlights from yesterday's talks.
Our morning keynote was given by Cardinal Robert Sarah and entitled, "The Light of the Family in a Dark World".
I found Cardinal Sarah to be a gentle, intelligent, and thoughtful man. While he had many great points to make, one worth mentioning here is that, 'The heart of the devil's lie is that God wants to limit you and not see your life fulfilled.'
I believe this is a false impression many people struggle with. It's easy for so many people to just see the Catholic faith as a long list of 'Do Nots' rather than an even longer list of blessings and freedoms and joys.
Cardinal Sarah also worked in one of my favorite passages from the Gospel of John 1, "All things came to be from Him and without Him nothing came to be. What came to be through Him was life and this life was the light of the human race. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." (I just typed that from memory so please excuse any small errors. I remember the words, not the punctuation. Ha!)
I love that passage, especially the last line so I wanted to share it with you here so that you might ponder it prayerfully with me. I can never read it too many times.
The first breakout I attended was by Terry Polakovic and another young woman who wasn't listed in the program. Their talk was entitled, 'The Special Place of Women in the Family, the Church, and the World'. I really enjoyed it!
They started out going through the life and conversion of St Edith Stein and her teachings on the nature and essence of women. Then they went into Saint John Paul II's interest in her writings and his own thoughts on the 'feminine genius'. They concluded with talking on Theology of the Body.
One of my favorite quotes by St Edith Stein shared in the talk was, "Do not accept anything as truth that lacks love and do not accept anything as love that lacks truth."
The last keynote of the day was Helen Alvare. I've been fortunate enough to hear Helen talk in person and on webinars many times over the years. She covers a broad range of topics and can speak well on all of them. I always enjoy any opportunity to hear her. Yesterday her keynote was on 'Creating the Future: The Fertility of Christian Love'. It was great like always!
I'll share more later. Keep us in your prayers!
I'm a little behind on my posts so I'll try to catch up today! There were several great speakers I was fortunate to hear yesterday and I want to share them with you all so I'll write more on them later.
We just had our second mass here and there were a couple of children's choirs singing at mass today. They were so beautiful and my heart melted!
Here are a few pictures from this morning. Since I'm a parishioner of St Thomas More and Fr Tom, Dina, and Sarah are here from that parish office, I wanted to get a picture of all of us from STM.
And now there's a group of priests singing Gregorian Chants so I'm going to run for now! More soon! Our Lady of Guadelupe pray for us!
We enjoyed our first Mass at the Convention center with Dina Martinez, Fr Tom Duhé, and Sarah Neau from St Thomas More parish. Mass was concelebrated by several cardinals, bishops, and archbishops. It was beautiful! We feel so blest!
Danielle and I made it to Philadelphia today. We had a set back this morning. Our flight got cancelled due to maintenance issues so we had to scramble to get new flights. We ended up having to leave several hours later which unfortunately meant we had to miss Fr. Robert Barron's opening talk. We were disappointed but that's ok.
We were blessed that when we arrived at our hotel and then went to go eat that we saw groups of clergy and religious everywhere! It was a heartwarming sight! There are signs everywhere about the WMOF and papal visit. It's so exciting to see an entire city on fire for Pope Francis like this!
Danielle and I have been praying a novena to St. Joseph the past several days for our diocese and for the good of the WMOF and Papal Visit. Please join us in prayer for his intercessions. St. Joseph pray for us!
Holy Spirit go before us and remain long after we are gone.