Journey with St. Francis to Pope Francis

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

June 29, 2022

On this feast of Saints Peter and Paul Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Carol Seidl shares on a recent pilgrimage organized through Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries, Inc. through the Franciscan Pilgrimage Program, Franklin, Wisconsin.

Sr. Kay Klackner and I were privileged to go on the Assisi/ Rome pilgrimage with representatives from our health care organizations and the Motherhouse food service staff. Those on the pilgrimage were really touched by the beauty of Assisi and the special places that had meaning for St. Francis. The pilgrims really learned a lot about St. Francis and the Franciscan spirit. We journeyed to Rome where we all visited the Basilica of St. John Lateran. As the pilgrimage ended Sr. Kay and I journeyed to the home of Sr. Marie Kolbe Zamora. She was an excellent hostess and tour guide. With her excellent Italian and knowledge of Rome we saw lots and ate at great restaurants that were favorites of hers. A special remembrance is walking in the streets and seeing gold circles in the blacktop in front of some doors. The inscription gave the name and date of Jews that were pulled from their home during World War II and sent to the concentration camps to die.

There were two highlights for me: one was visiting the place where she works and meeting Fr. Ambrogio Samus who is from Ukraine. He is the archivist for the Vatican. He gave Sr. Kay and I the medallion for the Synod. He also took time to drive us in a Vatican car the short cut way through the Vatican to get to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

The 2nd highlight was attending the beatification ceremony for eight Saints.What a privilege to be at a Mass where Pope Francis was the celebrant. He also came down in the Pope Mobile after Mass to greet all of us pilgrims. I was able to get a close up picture of the Swiss Guard who was where we were standing but as Pope Francis came through a Sister next to me started to fall due to heat stroke. I was attending to her when Pope Francis went pass our group. I was just happy to be at one of his Masses. This was a very special pilgrimage from quiet Assisi (with the best gelato) to busy Rome with so many special sites.

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