Image Courtesy: The Vatican
As the Holy Father began, it was of note how Brian Williams of MSNBC noted that he had the audience when he noted how he was ever so happy to be in the Land of the Free and the Home of Brave. He also noted how he was a son of Immigrants and how all were at one time Foreigners. It was a powerful message to counter all who have somehow seem to have forgotten this message today.
As we assessed the aftermath, it was so amazing to us that over 9 Million Hits were already visible on Google. Here is a link to the full text of the Holy Father's Speech for all who wish to review it for reference courtesy of ABC News . For our team, it was striking how he reminded the Congress and the American People on the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, Dr Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Menton. As the ABC News story noted, the later two may have to be "Googl'd". It did underscore how the Catholic Church has played such a central role in the evolution of the United States. What was also crucial was the need to compromise, embrace a sense of inclusion and be hopeful. To us, it was a pastoral message in keeping with what our team has come to realize about his Ministry as epitomized by his enyclical on climate change and to "protect our common home" which we have noted in this link for all to review.
There were many poignant moments throughout the Holy Father's visit to the US Capitol. As he walked through Statutory Hall and stood by the statue of St. Junipero Serra, it was his visit to the Speaker's Balcony and how he asked all to pray for him--even the non-believers. It was also of great significance as he decided to spend lunch with the homeless at Catholic Charities in Washington. He reminded all of how the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph were homeless and how the spirit of compassion and love has to be the order of the day.
It was also quite a moment as a Catholic Vice President Of the United States and a Catholic Speaker of the House looked on as the Holy Father spoke. We found it also poignant how the Speaker lost his composure on numerous occasions during the speech. We could not wonder as we were witness to history as to what President Kennedy might have thought of this day.
Our team was also amazed by the perceptive view that the Holy Father had yesterday as he worked his way through on his Popemobile to the Sainthood ceremony at The Catholic University of America in Washington. A 5-Year Girl by the name of Sophie Cruz broke through the Security Barrier and the Holy Father noticed her and directed that the Security Team bring the girl to her for a blessing:
Image Source: The Daily Mail (UK)
She gave the Holy Father a letter asking his help in forestalling the deportation of her family since they are in limbo as the Immigration fight continues onward.
After his visit with the homeless at Catholic Charities, he got in his Fiat 5000 with the license plates "SCV 1" (which stands for State City of Vatican) as he went back to the Apostolic Nunciature (Embassy) for a bit of rest before going on to New York as he addresses the General Assembly, leads an interfaith Service at the 9/11 Memorial and thereafter goes on to Philadelphia--the City of Brotherly Love.
It is ever so fun to be witness to history as we will be assessing the journey of this interesting man that with his soft voice is having such an impact on our World.