SAU’s president reports from Rome

Sr. Lescinski

I can tell you that it was incredibly exciting to be among the thousands who packed (St. Peter’s) Square and spilled down the Via di Conciliazione (where I was) with press and people from all over the world. Flags and languages of every country were flying about, and we erupted into a giant roar when finally they announced who it was and what his name would be. When Pope Francesco finally appeared on the balcony, the place went wild.
He had an incredibly calming and gentle presence, and I was deeply touched that, even before he gave us that first papal blessing, he led us in prayers that all of us knew:  the Our Father and the Hail Mary. I heard multiple languages reciting the prayers and I did so in English, and it gave me an incredible sense of the universality of the Church that people from every land in the world were represented in that square. And we were singing, cheering and praying together far beyond any barriers that language or nationality might have kept us apart from in other circumstances.
And, how gently and simply he bid us all a good night and a wish for rest before he turned and left.  I imagined how fatigued he must have been at that moment, but his wish was for our rest.
Overall, I came away with an extraordinary sense that something historic had happened, and we were deeply privileged to have been there to witness it. The first pope from the Western Hemisphere speaks volumes about the Church today.
Sr. Joan Lescinski, CSJ

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