Year of the Priesthood – Pope Benedict XVI’s Calling to Holy Vocation

Paul Keggington

July 26, 2009

Today is the first of a series of unique Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity photos to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI’s declared Year of the Priesthood. How fitting that one of the first images is our Holy Father himself.

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Sister Elizabeth Ann Miller, OSF, comments:

Before my Franciscan Pilgrimage to Assisi I had the privilege of spending a few days in Rome to visit Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora, OSF, one of our Franciscan Sisters studying there.  While there I was honored to attend a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.  The liturgy was the conferral of the Pallium by the Holy Father on the newly appointed Archbishops.  Sister  Marie Kolbe received an invitation from Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver, a former teacher of hers. 

How blessed on this first visit to the Vatican to be able to attend a Mass with the Holy Father on the great feast day of Saints Peter and Paul.  Sister Marie Kolbe, having lived in Rome, knew the best time to get in line for entrance into the Basilica, and the best place to sit in order to get a good look at Pope Benedict XVI.  We chose the last row with seats right next to the center aisle.  This is where the Holy Father enters for the Mass.  I was ready for the push of the crowd behind me as I positioned myself along the aisle barrier.  My camera was tested to make sure I would get a good picture, but I never expected what would come next.  A young boy about 10 or 11 PopeBenedict-feastPeter&Paul.JPGyears of age squeezed his way through the crowd and positioned himself right next to me.  I wondered where he came from and hoped he wouldn’t interfere with my view of the pope. As the entrance procession began I started snapping shots.  What happened next I am sure was a result of my friends’ prayers and the little boy next to me.  Pope Benedict XVI started down the aisle and walked straight to the boy next to me to shake his hand!  I was so excited to PopeBendict&Peter.JPGget a clear picture that I didn’t want to let go of the camera to shake the Holy Father’s hand.  Before I knew it he was down the aisle.  I was so happy for the young boy and myself. 

At the closing procession I was able to get pictures of Archbishop Dolan of New York, and Archbishop Miller of Vancouver.  In my final picture I was able to capture the young boy, Peter, and the Pope.  It was a memorable day for me and Peter as well. (See Flick’r photos.)

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