The Exciting Evening of the Pope’s Election
Our seminary is 4.5 miles from the Vatican. Since the announcement of the Conclave, every brother was making his own contingency plans to get to St. Peter’s ASAP when the white smoke went up. I had it all planned out with a program of the possible times and the best mode of transportation for each possibility. The worst-case scenario would have been running the whole way on foot, which I was ready to do, but thankfully it did not come to that!
What impressed me about the Pope’s short discourse was his humility. He immediately took th e atten tion off of himself, asking us all to join him in prayer for the Pope Emeritus. Then, before giving us his first Papal blessing, he asked us all to spend of a moment of silence praying for him. While I was praying, I could not help but thinking, “He is off to a good start!”
My dress shoes are a wreck and my cassock is dirty, but being there for such a historic moment was totally worth it. After the Pope had spoken, I stayed in the Square, soaking it all in. Everywhere you looked, you could see great joy and enthusiasm. Everyone, whether young or old, secular or religious, was acting like an excited kid. Reporters and TV anchors were dashing around interviewing whomever they could catch, trying to capture the emotion of the moment.
The next day, we still had classes this morning, but the rest of the day was spent celebrating the new Pontiff and praying for him as he takes on his new, colossal responsibility. No doubt, there are still tough times ahead, but in the Bark of Peter, with our eyes on Christ, we will weather the stormy seas that await us.