Papal Visit 2015

Page 1

A special edition of • OCTOBER 1, 2015



Vol. 63 No. 17A


Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, N.J.

Mission of Love and Mercy The Diocese of Trenton celebrates Pope Francis' Apostolic Journey to the United States

September 23-27, 2015

Pope Francis addresses crowds along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the Festival of Families during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 26. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., reflects on the visit of Pope Francis • P3

Princeton parishioner shares experience of ‘Flying Pope Francis’ • P5

Serving the Catholic Community in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

WASHINGTON … Visit to White House • Address to Congress • Meeting with U.S. Bishops • Time with Catholic Charities • Father Lambeth goes to Washington • Canonization of Junipero Serra • CUA student shares memory • COVERAGE BEGINS P7 NEW YORK CITY … Vespers Service • Madison Square Garden Mass • Visit to School in East Harlem • Remembrance at Ground Zero • Address to United Nations • COVERAGE BEGINS P26 PHILADELPHIA …. World Meeting of Families • Arrival at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary • Mass in Basilica • Visit to Prison • Address on Immigration • Festival of Families • Closing Mass on Parkway • Diocesan Clergy in Philadelphia • COVERAGE BEGINS P16 PLUS … Pope Watch parties • Readers share photos, reflections • #DOT in Philly

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Mission of Love, Mercy



About this labor of love ...


ournalists and Communications staff working on behalf of the Diocese of Trenton in Philadelphia last week to cover the World Meeting of Families and Papal Visit racked up an impressive collection of statistics: Dozens of interviews and stories filed; thousands of photographs taken, hours of video shot and scores of social media updates posted. Much of their work is reflected in this special issue, and some of it is being produced for projects to come. But that is only half the story. In order to complete their assignments and bring this important content to the people of the Diocese, many of these dedicated professionals took buses, trains and subways into the city, reported to media checkpoints at dawn, waited on security lines for hours and walked more than 200 city blocks or some 30 miles – as reported by their fitbits – throughout the week, some while carrying equipment that got heavier by the hour. While working in the Chancery, which served as a base camp of sorts, I was getting status reports via text from

Social media coordinator Brittany Wilson files her reports while waiting in a massive line to get through security. Craig Pittelli photo

Monitor freelance photographer Craig Pittelli is captured during his World Meeting of Families shoot by Jeff Bruno of Aleteia, also a freelance photographer whose work often appears in The Monitor. Matt Greeley, associate director of the Office of Communications, and freelance videographer Carlos Delcid, interview a pilgrim near Independence Hall prior to Pope Francis’ address on immigration. Ken Falls photo

“the field”: “My legs are on fire, and there’s 20 blocks to go.” “I have been on this security line for four hours with no end in sight.” Even with coveted media credentials, the closest that some of them could get was to wait among the throngs to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father passing in the popemobile or watch the events on the jumbotrons. And yet, they didn’t seem to mind. They knew going in that it would not be easy, and they weren’t disappointed. It was to be a test of their sense of mission; their professionalism, even their physical stamina. And yes, they wanted to be part of history and be able to say, “I was there.” I wish to thank these journalist pilgrims for their dedicated work and tireless spirit, as well as the many individuals who assisted back here in the Diocese with parish and school coverage and other aspects of our work. Without their collective efforts we wouldn’t have been able to provide you with the unique story of how the Catholic community in the Diocese of Trenton experienced the extraordinary and historic

Rayanne Bennett

Holy Father’s visit. visit of Pope Francis, and all that came In closing, we add our voices to the with it. resounding prayer rising from the faithThe pages that follow truly tell an ful in the United States – giving thanks amazing story. The people, Catholics for the gift of Pope Francis and asking and non-Catholics alike, who followed God to continue to bless his apostolic all or part of the Holy Father’s visit in mission. the media, have a sense of its impressive scope and the far-reaching impact of his message. However, it is another We wish to recognize and thank matter altogether to see reports and our journalists and Communications images from the U.S. visit collected and staff and partners who represented presented in one place. It is stunning to realize that the Holy Father, in the span us in Philadelphia and New York: of just five days, visited so many differBrittany Wilson, Craig Pittelli, Mary ent places, met with so many different Stadnyk, David Karas, John Blaine, groups, and touched countless lives Ken Falls, Rosemary Daniels, Frank through his words and presence. Lettieri, Jr., Patrick Brown, Lois Rogers, It has been our distinct pleasure Matthew Greeley, Carlos Delcid and and privilege to chronicle this incredible Cynthia and Carlos Pineda. papal visit, but also to report some of A note of appreciation to the extraordinary ways that the memall members of the Office of bers of this diocesan family celebrated Communications who contributed in the Pope’s time with us, participated in some way to this publication, most the different events and were ultiespecially Jeanne Kysela of our Digital mately changed by the experience. This reporting would not have been posMedia Department, who worked daily sible without the many pilgrims from throughout and following the visit the Diocese who shared with us their to publish this content in print and videos, photos, stories and reflections. online. Their contributions are included in a special pull-out section of this issue, and have been shared out on digital and social media. Through their eyes and Go to for … ears, we can get an idea of what it was like to be there, to see the Holy Father’s Videos shared by motorcade pass, to pray with him and pilgrims from the for him, and to take part in Mass with THE hundreds of thousands of their brothers Diocese and sisters in faith. Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, N.J. As monumental as this experiPhoto galleries from ence has been, it stands to reason that Philadelphia it cannot be fully captured in this one special issue. We encourage our readers More stories, to go to, where reflections; full texts THE we have posted videos, photo galleries, of Pope Francis' talks expanded reports and on the Newspaper of thecolumns Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, N.J.



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Mission of Love, Mercy



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BISHOP DAVID M. O’CONNELL, C.M. Ministrare Non Ministrari

Pope Francis among us


ew would argue that the pastoral visit of His Holiness Pope Francis for the World Meeting of Families 2015 did not move our hearts deeply. The reason? Because Pope Francis moved our hearts deeply. The presence of this gentle, humble, grandfatherly – indeed, holy man – transformed the awesome power of the papacy into something equally gentle, humble, grandfatherly and holy before our very eyes. He impressed everyone who saw or heard him as a genuine and loving pastor and shepherd of souls. Despite the phalanx of unparalleled security and massive crowds who turned out for even a glimpse of him, he touched us in ways that are, even now that he has departed our shores, yet to be realized. The Bishop of Rome is, by divine plan, the Vicar of Christ. As such, he possesses Christ’s own divine mission to teach, to govern and to sancJOYOUS ENCOUNTER • Bishop O’Connell applauds as Pope Francis makes his way down the aisle of St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral, Washington, Sept. 23. The Holy Father gathered with the bishops of the United States for mid-day prayer and then delivered a speech. Associated Press photo tify the Church. He is also the Successor of Peter who shares the gift of God, of which we are noble stewards but not that. They are essential, internal dimensions of the these responsibilities, again by divine plan, with the masters (Sept. 23, 2015)." one entrusted with the “keys of the Kingdom,” promBishops as Successors of the Apostles. To the United States of America: “As the son of an imised by the Lord Jesus to Peter and to those called by These may sound like “institutional” characterismigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, vocation to collaborate with him. tics – and, indeed, they are. But they are more than Pope Francis is the universal pastor of the Church. which was largely built by such families (Sept. 23, 2015).” It falls to him ultimately to evangelize all the baptized within the vast community of believers, taught, governed and sanctified locally by his fellow bishops in communion with him. Pope Francis fulfills his role by text, tone and gesture. In his case, each is instructive and we need to pay attention. A Pope of text. During his visit, the Holy Father spoke frequently in homilies, addresses and remarks. Composed with obvious care for American audiences in Washington, New York and Philadelphia, his words – written and spontaneous – will be repeated and replayed all over the world. Despite the efforts to read other intentions into To Congress: “To imitate the hatred and violence them by pundits of every stripe, religious as well as of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their secular; Catholics as well as members of other faith place … "If we want security, let us give security. If we traditions or no tradition; and “spin doctors” as well want life, let us give life. If we want opportunities, let as literalists, Pope Francis did not once diverge from us provide opportunities … Fundamental relationships the clear, rich treasury of Catholic teachings in his are being called into question, as is the very basis of remarks. On the contrary, his texts – even his “off the marriage and the family (Sept. 24, 2015).” cuff” remarks – presented what the Church has long To the Clergy, Religious and Laity at Evening Prayer taught and believed. Alleged political underpinnings in New York": I would like to express my esteem and to his many messages were simply that: “alleged.” gratitude to the religious women of the United States. To the U.S. Bishops in Washington: “The innocent What would the Church be without you? Women of victims of abortion, children who die of hunger or strength, fighters, with the spirit of courage which from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search the elderly or the sick who are puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the for a better tomorrow, HEARTFELT GREETING • Pope Francis waves to the considered a burden, the victims of terrorism, violence Gospel (Sept. 24, 2015).” throngs of people gathered outside Independence Hall, To the United Nations: “Integral human development Philadelphia, Sept. 26 as he arrives to celebrate Mass. and drug trafficking, the environment destroyed by John Blaine photo. See Holy Father • 4 man’s predatory relationship – at stake in all of this is

“...his words ­– written and spontaneous – will be repeated and replayed all over the world.”

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Mission of Love, Mercy


Holy Father ‘fulfills role by text, tone and gesture’ Continued from • 3

and the full exercise of human dignity cannot be imposed. They must be built up and allowed to unfold for each individual, for every family, in communion with others (Sept. 25, 2015).” To the Faithful at Mass in Madison Square Garden: “Jesus still walks our streets ... and fills us with hope (Sept. 25, 2015).” To the Clergy, Religious and Laity at Mass in Philadelphia: “What about you? One of the great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission (Sept. 26, 2015).” To those gathered at Independence Hall in Philadelphia: “I ask you not to forget, like those who came before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation. You should never be ashamed of your traditions ... you are also called to be responsible citizens and to contribute fruitfully to the life of the communities in which you live (Sept. 26, 2015).” To the Bishops in Philadelphia: “Our ministry needs to deepen the covenant between the Church and the family (Sept. 27, 2015).” To the World Meeting of Families 2015 Mass: “Our Father will not be outdone in generosity ... Faith opens a ‘window’ to the presence of the Spirit...holiness is tied to little gestures ... Jesus tells us not to hold back these little miracles. Instead he wants us to encourage them, to spread them ... little signs of love (Sept. 27, 2015).” These beautiful quotes do not do justice to the whole of the Pope’s message during his visit to the United States. I would encourage everyone to read his entire texts, to study them, to reflect on his words. A Pope of tone. As is often the case, it is not simply what we say but how we say it that communicates. Pope Francis is not a stylized orator. He is always and everywhere a simple preacher with words, with a message that everyone can understand. Whether in Italian, Spanish or English, he speaks

our language because of the tone he takes. He is not a culture warrior speaking with a sword held high. Rather, he is a softspoken, frequently gently-animated preacher with something important to say. His manner is effective because he speaks from the heart, to the heart. That was clearly in evidence throughout his visit with us. No bombs thrown. No consternation shown. No sabre-rattling. The “way” he spoke with such gentleness and humility also has something powerful to teach, to say to all of us. Perhaps we should think about that the next time we are tempted to fire off a nasty email or letter. A Pope of gesture. I had the privilege of seeing the Holy Father at close range in Washington and in Philadelphia. I even shook his hand. I couldn’t help but witness the real love and joy his face radiated with every contact he made. He looked people in the eye. He made them feel important. He paused to comfort and bless people in wheel chairs; to kiss children lifted up to him by parents. He took the hands of people who never expected to come in contact with the Vicar of Christ. He embraced prisoners, immigrants, the homeless, the poor, as well as the wealthy and powerful, and did so as if there were no difference among them. His gestures were homilies and sermons in themselves, without any words needed. The media has labeled Pope Francis “the people’s Pope,” and that certainly was the feeling evident in the crowds wherever he went. But every Pope belongs to the people as their teacher and shepherd. Every Pope, like each of us, has to be true to himself and use his personality to advance the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. Pope Francis is an amazing, awesome man whose entire being is a sermon. In text, tone and gesture he teaches the mind and warms the heart. May he continue to be a Shepherd who knows and loves the sheep, who unites them in mercy and truth and who leads them home to the Church, where the Gospel of Christ transforms people into their truest, best selves.

The leadership, staff, volunteers and consumers of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, express their deepest

THANKS to POPE FRANCIS for his inspiring visit to the U.S. and his consistent call to uphold human dignity and help the poor and marginalized.

EXPERT COMMENTARY Many who turned on CBS Philly’s coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to “the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” may have found themselves watching a familiar face – none other than Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. The Bishop provided commentary for a good part of the Saturday coverage, including the arrival at the airport and then St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, as well as the Mass in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Bishop O’Connell also returned to the CBS studio on Sunday for a brief period. Photo courtesy of Father Jason Parzynski

Mission of Love, Mercy


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Impressed Pope leaves U.S. people with prayers, blessings By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

denied in certain circumstances, he said, then it would turn into a situation where people were determining some human rights were more important than others. ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM When asked further about the county PHILADELPHIA • As the American clerk, the Pope said since the official was Airlines plane taking him to Rome from a human being then that official should Philadelphia took off, Pope Francis said enjoy the full range of human rights, inhe pictured the faces of all the people he cluding the right to follow her conscience. met, and he prayed for them. Asked about the role of women in the At the end of his first-ever visit to Church, Pope Francis said not ordaining the United States, the Pope told reporters women does not mean the Church does he “was surprised by the warmth of the not recognize how essential they are to people” and how they were “so loving. It its life and ministry, which is one of the was beautiful.” reasons he highlighted the contributions Spending close to 50 minutes with of consecrated women. members of the media flying back to “The sisters in the United States Rome with him Sept. 27, the Pope said have done marvelous things – in the he also was struck by the sincere piety of field of education, in the field of health people at his Masses and prayer services. care. And the people of the United Shortly after takeoff, Pope Francis States love the sisters.” responded to a dozen questions, includ“I felt like I needed to thank them for ing why he spoke with such compassion what they have done,” he said. to U.S. bishops in Washington about what Asked if the success of his visit to the they went through in the aftermath of the United States made him feel powerful or clerical sex abuse crisis. like a star, he said power is not his ambi“I felt a need to express compassion tion: “It is something that passes. You because what happened was horrible, and have it today, but tomorrow it’s gone.” many of them suffered a lot,” the Pope For those who follow Jesus, he said, said. For “men of prayer, good pastors” the only power that counts is the power the crisis was truly a “tribulation.” to serve others. “True power is service Sexual abuse occurs in families, ... humble service, and I still need to schools and other environments, he make progress on this path of service said, but when the abuser is a priest it is because I feel like I am not doing all “a kind of sacrilege,” because a priest’s that I need to do.” job is to help a person grow in love of FINAL FAREWELL • Turning to offer one last farewell, Pope Francis waves from the After participating in the World God and, instead, an abusive priest steps leading to an American Airlines jetliner at Philadelphia International Airport Sept. Meeting of Families in Philadelphia “squashes” his victims. 27. The Holy Father was boarding the plane for his return to Rome following a six-day and looking ahead to the opening Oct. An abusive priest “has betrayed his apostolic visit to the U.S. CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz 4 of the Synod of Bishops on the famvocation, the call of the Lord, and those ily, Pope Francis was asked about his who covered these things up is also On another topic, a U.S. reporter referred to the decision to streamline the process for declaring the guilty; even some bishops covered this up. It was a Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, who refused to nullity of marriages. horrible thing. And my words of comfort were not issue a marriage license to a gay couple because of He insisted the change was strictly juridical and to say, ‘well, be tranquil, it was nothing,’ – no, no, her religious beliefs. The reporter asked Pope Francis not doctrinal. It is not “Catholic divorce,” he said. not that. But it was such a bad time that I imagine to comment on the discussions in the United States The annulment process needed reform because with they wept a lot.” regarding religious liberty and its possible limits. automatic appeals “there were processes that lasted Pope Francis said he understands survivors who Pope Francis said he had no idea of the specific 10-15 years.” feel they cannot forgive their abusers and those who case, but he insisted that “conscientious objection is The annulment process does not dissolve a have lost their faith in God because of it. a right – it is a human right.” If some rights can be See Enroute • 6 “I pray for them,” he said.

Flying Pope Francis: St. Paul parishioner honored to fly ‘Shepherd One’ By EmmaLee Italia Correspondent


READY FOR TAKEOFF • Captain Thomas Murray sits in the pilot’s seat of a Boeing 777, the same model aircraft used to fly Pope Francis around the United States. Murray, a parishioner of St. Paul, Princeton, was one of two pilots and two first officers chosen to transport the Holy Father. Photo courtesy of Tom Murray

aptain Thomas Murray, member of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, and pilot for American Airlines, knew from a very early age that he wanted to be a pilot – proving his determination by flying in gliders at age 12 and single-engine planes by 16. He could have never anticipated, however, being asked decades later to be second-in-command aboard a plane carrying the Holy Father. Like his predecessors, Pope Francis’s transportation from state to state during his first visit to the United States would be aboard a flight chartered by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from American Airlines. Flown by American Airlines personnel, including Murray, the Boeing 777-200 aircraft traveled under the Federal Administration Aviation-approved call sign “Shepherd One.” In preparation for the flights

carrying the Pope, the papal seal was affixed to the side of the aircraft, and papal flags flew on either side of the plane’s front window upon landing. After picking up the plane at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport, the pilots brought the aircraft to Joint Base Andrews, just outside of Washington, D.C. The Pope boarded the aircraft Sept. 24 for a 4 p.m. flight to New York, en route to Vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Murray also piloted Pope Francis’s subsequent flight to Philadelphia Sept. 26 for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, as well as his return flight to Rome on Sept. 27. Murray, who goes by Tom, was approached by a member of management at American Airlines to be on the flight crew for Shepherd One – an assignment he took very seriously. “This was a very special trip,” Murray said. “We received extraordinary cooperation from air traffic See Pilot • 14

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Mission of Love, Mercy


En route to Rome, Pope reflects on experiences in U.S. Continued from • 5

marriage, but rather investigates whether or not a valid sacramental marriage was present from the beginning, he said. The decision to issue the new rules for the process responds to a request made by the majority of bishops at the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family last year, he said. The question of finding some sort of process or “penitential path” to readmit to the Sacraments Catholics who have remarried without an annulment is something still on the synod’s agenda, he said. “It seems a bit simplistic to me to say LAST GLIMPSE • Pope Francis waves from the window of an American they can receive Communion,” but it is an Airlines jetliner before taking off for Rome. CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz issue that needs further discussion. Another issue touched upon during his U.S. visit was migration. Pope Francis had told they remain with increased hatred.” the U.S. Congress, “Our world is facing a refugee crisis Pushed to comment on his popularity, Pope Franof a magnitude not seen since the Second World War.” cis insisted he doesn’t feel like a “star” because of all On the plane he told reporters that the world the crowds that flocked to meet him. Besides, he said, cannot pretend the crisis currently impacting Europe stars tend to come and go. sprang up overnight. He said it was provoked by years The Pope is called to be “the servant of the serof war and tensions in the Middle East and by decades vants of God – that’s a bit different than a star,” he of hunger and tensions in Africa, a continent that said. “Stars are beautiful to watch; I like to gaze at continues to be exploited by the world’s rich nations them when the sky is clear. But the Pope must be the when some investment would create jobs and help servant of the servants of God.” people live dignified lives in their homelands. Asked about the primary task facing the Church As for the idea of some European nations to start in the United States, the Pope said, “The challenge of building walls or fences to keep migrants out, Pope the Church is to be what it always was – close to the Francis said the influx of newcomers needs to be people, not detached,” he said. handled intelligently, “but walls are not the solution.” A video to accompany this story can be found at TrenErecting walls, he said, “the problems remain and Click on MULTIMEDIA/VIDEOS

Full and Fruitful Trip Pope Francis prepares to vest in the sacristy before celebrating the canonization Mass of St. Junipero Serra outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Sept. 23. On Sept. 30, Pope Francis recounted his trip to Cuba and the United States. To view this video, and a sampling of other videos produced from the apostolic visit, go to and click on MULTIMEDIA/VIDEOS. CNS photo/Paul Haring



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Mission of Love, Mercy




Washington rolls out

• 7

red carpet for Vicar of Christ PAPAL APPROVAL • Pope Francis gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he rides down Constitution Avenue in his popemobile in Washington Sept. 23, on his first full day visiting the United States. CNS photo/Gary Cameron, Reuters

STARS, STRIPES, AND THE KEYS OF ST. PETER • Pope Francis attends welcoming ceremony with U.S. President Barack Obama on the South Lawn of White House in Washington Sept. 23. CNS/L’Osservatore Romano photo


rom the moment Pope Francis left Joint Base Andrews in a small black Fiat, it was clear that this visiting head of state was going to meet Washington, D.C., on his own terms. A brilliant blue sky greeted the Pope and President Barack Obama on Wednesday, Sept. 23, for the official welcoming ceremony. 11,000 ticketed guests, hundreds of musicians and White House staff, an honor guard and a national viewing audience watched Pope Francis speak on the South Lawn, flanked by the flags of the Holy See and the United States. “American Catholics are committed,” Pope Francis said, in halting but clear English, “to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust


discrimination. With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty. That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions.” The Pope also referenced his recent encyclical Laudato Si’ (“Praised Be You”) in complimenting the White House’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encouraged the United States to “make the changes needed to bring about “‘a sustainable and integral development’.” Following a meeting with the President and Mrs. Obama, the Pope drove past a crowd of admirers who had gathered hours before to watch his motorcade leave the Ellipse, drive down Constitution Avenue, and take him to St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral.

Pope Francis, U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave from the south portico of the White House in Washington Sept. 23. An estimated 20,000 persons gathered on the South Lawn for a brief ceremony with the Pope. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Father Lambeth goes to Washington...for the Pope By David Karas Correspondent


ather K. Michael Lambeth, pastor of St. Theresa Parish, Little Egg Harbor, was driving back to his parish after visiting someone at the hospital this past August when he received a unique call from parish coordinator Cathy Mazanek. “The president has just called you,” she told him. “I said, ‘the president of what’?” Father Lambeth recalled. Mazanek clarified that it was the President of the United States who had dropped him a line on the parish phone. “I said, ‘what did he want’?” he recalled, chuckling. President Barack Obama was calling the pastor in response to a letter he had written to the White House on Memorial Day, expressing his concerns related to a speech that the president had delivered during the ceremonial laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. The former third class signal-

SIGHT TO BEHOLD • Father Mick Lambeth captures a view of the throng gathered at the White House for the welcome ceremony. Photo courtesy of Father Mick Lambeth man in the United States Navy, and a veteran of the Vietnam War, couldn’t help but take notice when President Obama singled out veterans from

World War II and conflicts in the Middle East, while glossing over the “jungle” warfare of the nation’s past without the same level of acknowl-

edgement. The omission reminded Father Lambeth of the all-too-often oversights that plague his fellow veterans, and so he wrote the White House Father K. Michael to express his Lambeth thoughts. “I continue to be disappointed in the manner American society seems to have in disregarding or turning their backs on my brothers who served in Vietnam,” he wrote in his words to the president – intended, he said, not to be angry, but merely to share his reaction. His letter included remarks on the profound impact that military service had on the young draftee, and on how he continues to pray for President Obama each day. “I never expected to hear anything See Letter • 13

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Mission of Love, Mercy


Pope to Congress: Stop



bickering, world needs your help

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service WASHINGTON • The past, the promise and the potential of the United States must not be smothered by bickering and even hatred at a time when the U.S. people and indeed the world need a helping hand, Pope Francis told the U.S. Congress. Making history by being the first Pope ever to address a joint meeting of Congress, Pope Francis was introduced to the legislators by the House sergeant at arms Sept. 24 as: “Mr. Speaker, the Pope of the Holy See.” The Pope introduced himself, though, as a son of the American continent, who had been blessed by the “new world” and felt a responsibility toward it. In a long speech, he gave the sense that he sees the United States as a country divided, one so focused on calling each other names that it risks losing sight of how impressive it can be when its people come together for the common good. That is when it is a beacon of hope for the world, he said, adding “America continues to be, for many, a land of ‘dreams’.” Pope Francis condemned legalized abortion, the death penalty and unscrupulous weapons sales. He called on Congress to “seize the moment” by moving forward with normalizing relations with Cuba. And, again referring to himself as a “son of immigrants” - and pointing out that many of the legislators are, too - he pleaded for greater openness to accepting immigrants. A reporter had asked the Pope about why he spoke so much about the poor and rich, but rarely about the middle class. A papal promise to correct that resulted in this speech to Congress and the American people. “I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and -

“America continues to be, for many, a land of ‘dreams”’.

‘YOU HAVE BEEN INVITED’ • In the first speech from a Pope to a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis likened political and public service to a vocation to religious life, acknowledging their responsibilities and encouraging them to shed their divisions and work towards the common good. CNS photo/Paul Haring one step at a time - to build a better life for their families,” the Pope said. “These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society,” he said. “They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.” Showing he had studied the United States before the visit - something he said he would do during the Rome August break - he used four iconic U.S. citizens as relevant models of virtue for Americans today: Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Servant of God Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. See Congressional • 12

‘SON OF IMMIGRANTS’ • Pope Francis ad-

dresses Congress as Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Speaker of the House John Boehner look on in the House of Representatives Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Sept. 24. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Donovan Catholic hosts jubilant, interactive “Pope Watch” By Dorothy K. LaMantia Correspondent


cross the country, Pope Francis’ address to Congress, the first time a sitting Roman Pontiff has spoke to a joint session on Capitol Hill, was must-watch viewing, with

LARGER THAN LIFE • Widescreen projection TVs inside St. Joseph Church, Toms River, allowed students to witness Pope Francis’ speech to Congress as it happened Sept. 24. Ken Falls photos

Emilie Zuhowski served as the oncamera reporter for a Realfaith TV news piece on Donovan Catholic’s Pope to Congress Watch Party.

To view the video, got to and click on MULTIMEDIA/VIDEOS.

parishes, communities and schools hosting “Pope Watches” to take in the speech and the spectacle. At Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, the Pope’s historic address to Congress provided an opportunity for students to witness and celebrate history in the making and will always be remembered as the day of the Pope Watch party. “We’re working hard to infuse the excitement,” said Father Scott Shaffer, director of the high school and pastor of St. Joseph Parish. “Kids’ point of reference is limited by their age. We are trying to create an environment that will best impact the memories that will be made by this experience.” The 700 students of Ocean County’s only Catholic high school joined with seventh and eighth graders of St.

Joseph School in the parish church to watch the live stream of Pope Francis’ address to the joint meeting of Congress. When Pope Francis appeared on the widescreen projection TVs, students and staff echoed the applause filling the Capitol then settled in to listen to his hour-long speech. Although some students admitted their understanding of the address was challenged by the Pope’s accent, students correctly answered Father Shaffer’s questions about the speech’s content. “I like that Pope Francis stressed the family connection to all aspects of life,” said senior Kathryn Milewski. “I admire his selflessness and his love of the poor. He inspires me to do more for people who are poor.” See Students • 13

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Mission of Love, Mercy

Pope canonizes


Junipero Serra, says faith is alive only when shared

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service WASHINGTON • Canonizing the 18th-century Spanish missionary, Blessed Junipero Serra, Pope Francis insisted a person’s faith is alive only when it is shared. Celebrating a late afternoon Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Sept. 23, the Pope declared the holiness of St. Junipero, founder of a string of missions in California. Some people had objected to the canonization – like the beatification of the Spaniard in 1988 – because of questions about how Father Serra treated the native peoples of California and about the impact of Spanish colonization on native peoples throughout the Americas. Pope Francis mentioned the controversy only briefly, saying: “Junipero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs, which today still trouble us, especially because of the



hurt which they cause in the lives of many people.” Vincent Medina, who has questioned the wisdom of the canonization, read the first Scripture reading in the Chochenyo language of the Ohlone people of Northern California. Before the formal proclamation of the misTHE CHURCH’S NEWEST SAINT – Above, Pope Francis smiles during a prayer meeting with U.S. bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington Sept. 23. Acknowledging the real challenges and burdens the sionary’s sainthood, a choir and bishops face in their ministry, the Pope urged them to keep their eyes focused on Jesus and hearts focused on the congregation others. CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review chanted a litany invoking the intercession of Jesus, Tekakwitha, the first American Indian Andrew Galvan, curator of Dolores MisMary, the apostles and a long list of to be canonized. The canonization of St. sion in San Francisco, brought a relic of saints, including other saints who lived Junipero, however, was the first such St. Junipero up to a stand near the altar and worked in the United States, such ceremony to be celebrated in the United as a song was sung in Spanish accompaas St. Frances Cabrini, St. Elizabeth Ann States rather than at the Vatican. nied by a drumbeat. Seton, St. John Neumann and St. Kateri After the formal proclamation, See Serra • 23

Words of Comfort Above, Pope Francis speaks to an audience of about 200 clients and volunteers of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington in the district’s St. Patrick Church, Sept. 24. “We can find no justification ... for lack of housing,” he told the crowd, many of whom have low incomes or are immigrants who receive services from Catholic Charities. After his remarks the Pope visited the main headquarters of the archdiocesan Catholic Charities agency, blessing the chapel there. In photo below, Pope Francis meets people involved with St. Maria’s Meals Program of Catholic Charities. Though he was unable to stay for lunch, he bestowed a blessing upon the food and those in attendance. CNS photos/Paul haring

‘Brother, Among Brothers’ In photo above, Pope Francis smiles during a prayer meeting with U.S. bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle Sept. 23. Acknowledging the real challenges and burdens the bishops face in their ministry, the Pope shared with them his own experience as a pastor, urging them to keep their eyes focused on others. His speech to them, delivered in Italian, was one of the longest he would give in the U.S. CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review

At right, Pope Francis stands in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for private prayer at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. CNS photo/Mark Wilson

Mission of Love, Mercy


• 11


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was followed by a morning stroll that turned into tea with some friends and an afternoon of games.”

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Mission of Love, Mercy


Pope Francis encourages respectful dialogue, calls for ‘voice of faith’ Continued from • 8

“A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did; when it fosters a culture which enables people to ‘dream’ of full rights for all their brothers and sisters as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work; the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton,” the Pope said. Describing political service with the same tone used to describe a vocation to religious life — “you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you” — the Pope recognized the weighty responsibility of being a member of the U.S. Congress. Dialogue, he said, is the only way to handle the pressure and fulfill the call to serve the common good, promoting a culture of “hope and healing, of peace and justice.” For the speech, Pope Francis stood in the House chamber in front of Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the House and a Republican from Ohio, and Vice President Joe Biden, president of the Senate. Both men are Catholics. Besides the senators, representatives and their invited guests, the attendees

included members of the U.S. Supreme Court and members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. Tens thousands of people watched the speech on giant screens from the Capitol’s West Lawn. Gathered hours before the Pope’s morning visit, they were entertained by military bands. In his speech, Pope Francis gave strong support to several concerns of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic faithful, including defending the right of people to publicly live their faith and join political policy debates from a faith-based perspective. “It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society,” he said. The dialogue the country needs must be respectful of “our differences and our convictions of conscience.” “Every life is sacred,” he insisted, calling for the “global abolition of the death penalty” and the “responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.” Some U.S. politicians and pundits have expressed confusion or even anger over Pope Francis’ teaching about the damage provoked when money becomes a god and profits count more than

people. The Pope insists his words are straight out of Catholic social teaching. His speech to Congress included more of that teaching, delving deeper into the positive aspects of a market economy — as long as it is ethical and includes controls, solidarity and a safety net for the poorest and weakest members of society. “The creation and distribution of

“[There is a] responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage.” wealth” obviously is important for continued efforts to reduce poverty in the United States and around the globe, he said. “The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable.” “Business is a noble vocation” when it seeks the common good, Pope Francis

said. And today, he told legislators, the common good includes protecting the environment and taking bold steps “to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.” After his speech, Boehner led Pope Francis through the Capitol’s Statuary Hall and showed him a statue of St. Junipero Serra, whom the Pope canonized the previous day. The Pope then proceeded to the West Portico of the Capitol, where tens of thousands of people with tickets had waited for hours. “Good morning, everyone,” he said in Spanish, then blessed the crowd. “I am so grateful for your welcome and your presence here, especially for the most important ones here — the children. I will ask God to bless you. ‘Lord, father of all, bless this people, bless each one of them, bless their families, give them what they need most. And I ask you all please to pray for me. And if there are among you any who do not believe or cannot pray, I ask you please to send good wishes my way. Thank you. Thank you very much. And God bless America.” To view a video on the Pope’s address to Congress, go to and click on MULTIMEDIA/VIDEOS.

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30,000 nationwide hosted or attended papal viewing parties Continued from • 8

Maria Heitmann, a junior, said she was inspired by the speech. “He related his comments to all people, old and young, rich or poor. He is brave and speaks his mind by tackling a lot of issues, and he can calm people in times of crisis,” she said.

Not Just a Watch But a Party After the speech, Donovan Catholic students marched toward the football field accompanied by the song, “I Send You Out on a Mission of Love,” and the Pope-Watch Party officially began. Clad in t-shirts emblazoned with “Donovan Catholic [Hearts] Pope Francis” on the front and the year’s mission statement, “Love Is Our Mission / Mercy Is the Way” on the back, the entire student body and faculty flanked the 50-yard line to greet the Popemobile – a golf cart bearing a life-size cutout of Pope Francis. A crew from Realfaith TV, the diocesan television program for teenagers, led the assembly through a series of cheers, which were filmed for a future program on Pope Francis’ impact on young people. The video will serve as the opening of the program which is slated for an October 2016 release. The student’s normal period for lunch was devoted to a papal celebration, featuring a few of Pope Francis’ culinary and musical favorites, including cream puffs, one of the Pope’s favor-

ite desserts, courtesy of the PTA. Students listened to Argentinean tango and salsa music in the gym and took selfies with the Pope Francis cutout under the trees of the Quad. Throughout the week, Donovan Catholic High School geared up for the history-making Papal visit to Congress. Morning prayers contained petitions for the Pope’s well-being; those at dismissal, for care of creation. The school media center’s Griffin TV presented Pope Francis trivia questions, such as “Did you know Pope Francis was a bouncer?” “We have been working on it for weeks,” explained Dr. Edward Gere, principal. “Our campus ministry coordinator, Mary Beth De Blasio, was the initial catalyst and energy behind it, and Father Scott’s enthusiasm is contagious. I spent time talking to students and this is a personable, likable Pope who’s making our faith feel accessible for our young people.” The students at Donovan Catholic enjoyed the full experience on Thursday, with many


ovan Catholic High School students gather Sept. 24 on the 50-yard line of the Toms River school’s football field for a celebratory photo with a life-size cutout of Pope Francis during a Pope Watch Party. The Griffins joined schools across the country in hosting special events to mark the Holy Father’s pastoral visit. Ken Falls photo

coming away touched by Pope Francis’ powerful words and even more powerful actions. “He’s been uniting among Catholics in America,” said senior John Scott. “It seems like

he’s in the mainstream and people are talking about him because of his respect for the poor and life of poverty. He has changed the face of the Church without changing doctrine.”

Letter prompts invite to see Pope Continued from • 7

back from that,” he said. “I just needed to say it.” His expectations were far surpassed with the call from the White House, as well as a written and hand-signed letter from the president. But what moved the pastor the most was the invitation to be a guest of the president and the First Lady during the Sept. 23 arrival ceremony of Pope Francis at the White House. “It was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these two occasions to come together, for me as a Vietnam veteran and as a Catholic priest,” he reflected. “It was beyond anything that would ever happen in my lifetime.” With his parish community “in my heart,” Father Lambeth journeyed to Washington, only to be greeted with the offer of a private West Wing tour the evening before the arrival of the Holy Father. He recalled finding himself pausing in the Oval Office, pondering how many decisions that have impacted his life might have passed through the room. But the truly transformative experience came when all of the guests were seated on the South Lawn and Pope Francis arrived. “It was just a holy and very wonderful moment for me,” he said, recalling being moved to hear “Hail to the Chief” and other patriotic hymns. There was an audible gasp when Pope Francis first stepped out of the Popemobile. “You could hear a pin drop when

the Pope was speaking, and there were 14,000 people there,” Father Lambeth said. “Catholics, non-Catholics, believers and nonbelievers – here we were, gathered in our nation’s capital and at the White House, and here is this humble, gentle man and this is his first stop, his first experience in public in our country.” He added, “It was a remarkable, emotional and spiritual moment for me.” Reflecting back on the reason behind his invitation to be there for the arrival of his Pope – the feeling of not being remembered in the president’s remarks on Memorial Day – Father Lambeth shared a realization he was brought back to while listening to the Pontiff’s words during his Mass celebrated at The Catholic University of America. What is most important, he said, is being remembered by God. “That reality comes back that we are remembered,” he said. “The Pope made that so clear.” While his time at the White House was profoundly moving, that would not be the last time the pastor would cross paths with the Pope. After checking out of his hotel, Father Lambeth was driving away and navigating road closures when he suddenly found himself driving up to a barricade. A few moments later, he saw the Popemobile passing by, and the Holy Father waving to the crowd. Father Lambeth recalled speaking out loud as he waved back to the Pope, a chance for a personal farewell, of sorts. “Goodbye, Papa,” he said.

WITNESSING HISTORY • Students from St. Benedict School, Holmdel, watch the pope’s address to Congress on a wide-screen television. Photo courtesy of St. Benedict School

Schools hold ‘Pope Parties’ to celebrate arrival of pontiff By David Karas, Correspondent and Christina Leslie, Staff Writer


chool communities of the Diocese of Trenton didn’t let a little distance get in the way of experiencing the U.S. Papal visit. While they could not personally witness events such as the Holy Father’s arrival at the White House, or his address to Congress, students in St. Benedict School, Holmdel, and Holy Cross School, Rumson, joined faithful around the country in watching remotely – taking it a step further by throwing a Pope Party for the occasion. St. Benedict students in grades seven and eight spent the morning of Sept. 24 in library watching live footage of Pope Francis speaking to Congress, touching on issues ranging from immi-

gration to capitalism, the environment to protecting the family. School leaders said that one of the messages that resonated most with the students concerned the family, which Pope Francis said is threatened today, perhaps more than ever before. Eighth-grader Anna Vene, also a member of St. Benedict Parish, said that she enjoyed hearing the Pope’s message because of his passion for “all of the people.” “He tries to make a positive impact on our lives by addressing problems this world in facing,” she said. “Some of the issues even affect some of our families. I hope while Pope Francis is holding the position of Pope, these changes can be made.” And while the event’s moniker See ‘Pope Parties’ • 30

14 •

Mission of Love, Mercy


‘So proud to be a Catholic’




Donovan Catholic alumna and current Catholic University student volunteered at papal Mass By David Karas Correspondent


f the many thousands of faithful gathered in Washington, D.C., to participate in the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis, one diocesan native was fortunate to have “a moment” with the Holy Father while volunteering during the program. Sophie Lazicki, 21, a graduate of St. Aloysius School, Jackson, and Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, applied and was accepted to serve as a volunteer during the Sept. 23 Mass. Assigned to seat and assist members of the choir near the altar, she found herself standing against a fence when the Popemobile passed by, and then turned around right in front of her. “I was shaking and waving and yelling, screaming ‘Papa! Papa!’ she said, noting that she had gotten the attention of the Holy Father. “(Pope Francis) pointed to the ground and there was a hat, and I think he thought it was mine, and I bent down to get it and (shared a) thumbs up showing I know what he meant, and he waved back.” Even a couple of days after her brief interaction with the Pope, Lazicki said that she was “still on cloud nine.” “I’m so blessed to have this interaction,” she said. “I will take it with me forever.” Lazicki is a senior in the Catholic University of America, Washington,

IS THAT YOUR HAT? • While in the Popemobile, Pope Francis notices Sophie Lazicki points at a hat on the ground in front of her and a friend and fellow volunteer, Kelly McCloskey. Lazicki motioned that she saw the hat and received a smile and a wave from the Holy Father. Photo courtesy of Kelly McCloskey A FRONT SEAT TO HISTORY• Sophie Lazicki poses in front of the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The Diocese of Trenton native is a student at the Catholic University of America. Photo courtesy of Kelly McCloskey D.C., studying psychology, with a Spanish health care minor, while working toward a nursing degree. She was inspired to volunteer not only because she could then give her Mass ticket to another student, but also to pitch in and be able to take part in the historic event. Her assignment included providing materials to guests, and supplying members of the choir and clergy with

water and other necessities. And it was both in her volunteer work and in being present for the Mass that she took note of something powerful. “To see how the Pope was able to unite so many different cultures in the Mass for the beliefs most of us shared – it was beautiful,” she reflected. “The emotions I felt during the Mass made me so proud to be a Catholic.”

Lazicki added that being present during the visit of Pope Francis has had an impact on her personal faith. “Having the Eucharist that was blessed by the Pope definitely relit a fire in my faith that may have been not as strong before,” she shared. “It makes me excited to keep going to Mass and adoration, and keep being the child of God I think I am supposed to be.”

Pilot of local parish tasked with flying Pope to New York, Philadelphia, and Rome Continued from • 5

control and the Secret Service. Everyone went well out of their way to help us.” “Tom’s primary focus wasn’t the glitz and glamour [of the assignment],” said his wife, Donna. “It was to keep the Holy Father safe.” Donna explained that Tom was the pilot on board with the most flight hours on that model aircraft – 4,000 to 5,000 hours. That, and his status as a flight instructor and background in airplane mechanics, gave him solid credentials. “I think it helps to be highly qualified on the Boeing 777 – and to be Catholic,” Capt. Murray admitted. Murray is a check airman – a pilot who “helps other pilots transition to new aircraft … by giving them experience in the new aircraft after extensive training at our training center in Dallas,” he said. Murray earned his first pilot’s licenses while growing up on Long Island, N.Y. He applied for flight school at Purdue University, but had to wait for a spot to open, according to Donna. In the meantime, he received instruction in airplane mechanics. He eventually graduated from Purdue in 1982 with a degree in aviation technology, and instructed new flying students for the school. Murray also joined the Air Force Reserve in 1982 and served there until 1992. After joining American Airlines in 1984, he became a captain at the age of 30, one of the youngest, he says, in the company’s history. Murray is also a Desert Storm veteran. St. Paul’s pastor, Msgr. Joseph N. Rosie, alerted St. Paul

for Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, from which his three children graduated, and Custom flight patches serves as a troop leader for Eagle Scout Troop commemorating the 28 in Lawrenceville. Pope’s air travel on The flight crew members were blessed “Shepherd One” were to receive an audience with the Holy Father designed by Murray, on the flight back to Rome. Murray said he incorporating the was struck by Pope Francis’ humility. World Meeting of “He (was) very much the same man you Families logo, and given to Pope Francis see on T.V.,” he observed. “It was a tremenand the flight crew. dous experience.” Photo courtesy of Tom To commemorate the historic flights, Murray “I brought some flags to fly on Shepherd One with me,” Murray said. He intends to have the flags inscribed with the trip details and donated back to the institutions they represent. Wanting to give Pope Francis someSchool students to the Pope’s flight path of during the opening thing memorable from his flights, Murray designed a flight of the school year Mass on Sept. 24. patch to give to the Pope and another for the crew, using “I know the pilot,” he said, “So if you look up at the sky the Love Is Our Mission logo from the World Meeting of around 4:30, I asked him if he could fly the Pope over our Families. school!” Murray confirmed that the flight did indeed take the The flight name, “Shepherd One” and the names of the piHoly Father very near Mercer County on the New York and lots were included on Pope Francis’ patch, and his papal motto, Philadelphia routes. “Miserando Atque Eligendo” (“Humble yet chosen”), appeared Murray lives a life of service even outside his piloting across the bottom. work, serving on the school board of St. Paul School for 12 years “It means ‘lowly but chosen,’” said Murray. “I explained to in various capacities – on the facilities and planning commit(Pope Francis) that we feel the same way about being chosen tees, as chair of the finance committee and 2003-2006 school for the flight – humble.” board chairman. He is currently involved in strategic planning TOKEN OF APPRECIATION •

Mission of Love, Mercy


• 15




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Mission of Love, Mercy

P hiladelphia


‘Viva il Papa!’

St. Charles Borromeo seminarians show their love for most distinguished visitor By Brittany Wilson Social Media Coordinator



s Pope Francis stepped out of his black Fiat Sept. 26 amid cheers of “Viva il Papa!” outside of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, in Wynnewood, Pa., months of preparation came to fruition. Weeks of practices, cleaning and security measures was finally behind the roughly 150 men who attend the seminary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as they welcomed their mostesteemed guest. “As the days were building up [to Pope Francis’ arrival], you felt the energy around you change. It was very energetic, very positive,” said first-year seminarian James Harmon, from the Diocese of Trenton. “People who are more on the quiet side, you saw more excitement in them.” The seminarians, including Harmon and five others from the Diocese, gathered in rows on the seminary’s front steps and greeted the windblown Pope. The seminary, home to Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap,

photographer Craig Pittelli captured Rev. Mr. Richard Osborn, a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Trenton, giving the “thumbs-up” as he and fellow seminarians await the arrival of Pope Francis to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., Sept. 26.

hosted the Holy Father on Saturday night as he concluded his six-day pastoral trip to the United States. “What struck me most was that it was totally real. Here he is, the Vicar of Christ, before us,” said Harmon, whose home parish is St. Justin the Martyr, Toms River. “So many people go to Rome to see him, and here he was at our

home at St. Charles. It was a very humbling experience — very powerful.” Second-year seminarian Brennen McCoy, of Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish, Hamilton, echoed Harmon. “You hear about the Pope and sometimes just think of him as a figure. You sometimes forget that he’s a real

person — but there he was,” McCoy said. “I was overjoyed. I was elated [when Pope Francis arrived]. I wasn’t expecting to feel the way I did. I just kind of lost all control and I think everyone else around me did, too.” The cheers and applause were so enthusiastic that the seminarians had to See Seminarians • 24

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‘Little gestures’ make big difference, says Pope on Parkway By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service


ope Francis urged the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families to serve and care for each other as freely as God loves the human family. The Pope called upon the faithful to embrace signs that the Holy Spirit can work through everyone. He referred to the readings in the multilingual Mass – from the Book of Numbers and the Gospel of Mark – in which members of the faith community questioned the work of those not part of their group and for prophesying in the name of God. “To raise doubts about the working of the Spirit, to give the impression that it cannot take place in those who are not ‘part of our group,’ who are not ‘like us,’ is a dangerous temptation,” the pope said. “Not only does it block conversion to the faith; it is a perversion of faith. Faith opens a window to the presence and working of the Spirit. It shows us that, like happiness, holiness is always tied to little gestures.” Illustrating his point before the Mass, Pope Francis engaged in “little gestures” himself along the papal parade route to the Mass, kissing and blessing many babies brought to him from the sidewalk throngs by Secret Service agents, who themselves managed to cracked smiles after days of maintaining a stern demeanor as they guarded the pontiff. Pope Francis recalled that Jesus encountered “hostility from people who did not accept what he said and did,” saying they thought it intolerable that Christ was open to honest and sincere faith from men and women who were not part of God’s chosen people. “The disciples, for their part, acted in good faith. But the temptation to be scandalized by the freedom of God, who sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous alike, bypassing bureaucracy, officialdom and inner circles, threatens the authenticity of faith. Hence it must be vigorously rejected,” he said. “Once we realize this, we can understand why Jesus’ words about causing ‘scandal’ are so harsh. For Jesus, the truly ‘intolerable’ scandal consists in everything that breaks down and destroys our trust in the working of the Spirit,” he continued. Pope Francis held up the family as vital to building the Church for the future. He said love must be freely shared for faith to grow. “That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith,” he said.

THE 266TH BISHOP OF ROME • Pope Francis kissed more than a dozen babies and issued innumerable blessings during his parades on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Craig Pittelli photo

ONE MILLION PILGRIMS • Attendees watch an aerial shot of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway while awaiting the start of Mass with Pope Francis Sept. 27. Craig Pittelli photo


Francis leaves in procession after celebrating the closing Mass of the Eighth World Meeting of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia Sept. 27. CNS photo/Paul Haring

“Little gestures” of love exist daily in the lives of family and serve to carry on God’s love as well, Pope Francis explained. “These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family. They get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers

and grandfathers, by children. They are little signs of tenderness, affection and compassion,” he said. “Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by little things, by atten-

tion to small daily signs which make us feel at home.” Pope Francis asked the worshipers to consider how they share God’s love with people in their families and in the world around them. “What kind of world do we want to leave to our children?” he asked, referencing a line in his encyclical “Laudato See Closing • 32

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Love for Christ and His Church

Pope challenges religious to create ministries that inspire By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service


ope Francis encouraged Pennsylvania’s Catholic clergy and women and men religious to challenge young people to develop “high ideals, generosity of spirit and love for Christ and the Church.” In his first Mass in Philadelphia, Pope Francis recalled St. Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia heiress who entered religious life, formed a religious community and used her inheritance to educate blacks and Native Americans throughout the U.S. after Pope Leo XIII had challenged her to serve the Church by asking, “What about you?” The Pope posed the same question repeatedly to the audience of 1,500 that included more than 300 priests and 160 deacons in the main Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul Sept. 26. Another 500 people in religious life attended in an overflow chapel at the cathedral. “Do we challenge them?” Pope Francis asked in reference to efforts to involve young people in Church life. “Do we make space for them and help them to do their part? To find ways of sharing their enthusiasm and gifts with our communities, above all in works of mercy and concern for others? Do we share our own joy and enthusiasm in serving the Lord?” Pope Francis called for creativity in ministry to inspire people to maintain ties with the Church. Studies have shown that American young adults involvement in the Church and Mass attendance have fallen even

TAKE AND DRINK • Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia Sept. 26. CNS

AT PRAYER WITH FRANCIS • Representatives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia fill the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul for Mass with Pope Francis in Philadelphia Sept. 26. CNS photo/Paul Haring

photo/Paul Haring

as they have gained a greater awareness of the need to address social ills. The Pope’s homily appealed to the audience to seek new ways to boost the presence of young people in church ministries and activities. “One of the great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission and to enable them to fulfill that responsibility as missionary disciples, as a leaven of the Gospel in our world,” he said. “This will require creativity in adapting to changed situations, carrying forward the legacy of the past not primarily by maintaining our structures

and institutions, which have served us well, but above all by being open to the possibilities which the Spirit opens up to us and communicating the joy of the Gospel, daily and in every season of our life,” he said. Acknowledging that society is undergoing rapid change, the Pope said the times call for “much more active engagement on the part of the laity.” The pontiff credited the U.S. Church for its effort to catechize and educate laypeople and said that today’s challenge facing the Church is to build on that work and to foster a “sense of collaboration and shared responsibility in planning for the future of our parishes

and institutions.” “This does not mean relinquishing the spiritual authority with which we have been entrusted; rather, it means discerning and employing wisely the manifold gifts which the Spirit pours out upon the Church,” Pope Francis said. “In a particular way, it means valuing the immense contribution which women, lay and religious, have made and continue to make, to the life of our communities.” He encouraged those gathered to recall the joy they experienced in their “first encounter with Jesus” and to draw from that joy renewed strength to carry out the work of the Church.

Grotto of ‘Mary, Undoer of Knots,’ highlights needs of poor and vulnerable By Elizabeth Fisher Catholic News Service


n front of Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul stands a visible representation of Pope Francis’ favorite religious image: “Mary, Undoer of Knots.” The “Knotted Grotto” is a domeshaped lattice-work frame that stands about 10 feet high with an approximately 20-foot circumference and features tens of thousands of white ribbons knotted into a lattice structure. In an unplanned gesture before the papal Mass Sept. 27 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Pope stopped his motorcade to visit the grotto devotion, which by then had 100,000 ribbons tied to it. When the World Meeting of Families opened Sept. 22, more then 10,000 ribbons were being added daily. Each ribbon represents a prayer intention, which visitors may read and offer in their prayers, as well as add a new ribbon. Above all the ribbons hangs


views prayer ribbons, added by thousands of visitors, at the Knotted Grotto outside the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul during the World Meeting of Families Sept. 25 in Philadelphia. Frank Weber photo

a large portrait of Mary, the Mother of God, as one who unties the knots of people’s lives. Project HOME, the Philadelphia organization serving homeless people in the city, has been collecting the pieces of cloth throughout the Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, regions. Over the past several months, the group canvassed prisons, soup kitchens and workshops, collecting petitions that

reflect poignant prayers for topics ranging from personal issues to social justice to health concerns. A few examples include: “I am asking for prayers for my whole family”; “Let there be food for all … bountiful food for all”; “More faith in God and more belief in God’s love”; “For school communities, that students, teachers/ professors can come together and share school pride and values.”

One prison inmate penned his hope to be free of addiction and be able to make a life for himself once released. Some petitioners asked for healing from anxiety or cancer, or other physical and mental disorders. Project HOME commissioned artist Meg Saligman to create the grotto to help draw attention to those in need, especially members of society for whom Pope Francis shows much concern. “We invited Meg to create this work of art so that people will be moved to acknowledge a higher power and to also acknowledge the power within themselves to act,” said Mercy Sister Mary Scullion, executive director of Project HOME. “We need God’s grace to untie the knots.” Sister Scullion conceived the project was a way for people to remember each other – and the poor – in their prayers, following the example of Pope Francis, whom she met when he stopped in front of the grotto on what was his last day in the United States.

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‘The family fully alive’

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Diocesan attendees come away renewed, enthused from week-long conference By Brittany Wilson Social Media Coordinator For Daniel and Alyce Rossi, of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square, the week of Sept. 22 to 27 was one they won’t soon forget. The married couple was two of more than 20,000 people, representing more than 100 countries, who attended the Eighth World Meeting of Families in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. “We think families are the center of society, and we think it’s so important — the domestic Church is so important for society,” said Daniel, who is active with the Knights of Columbus in the state of New Jersey. “Many of the problems we face could be solved if people would embrace the importance of the family structure.” The Rossis agreed the World Meeting of Families, which had the motto “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” was a very enlightening and hopeful experience. “We met many wonderful people from all over the world,” Daniel said. “Everybody here shares a common bond, and that’s what makes this so exciting.” “Seeing the youth, and the families and the fact there are all these young kids running around,” said Alyce. “Knowing that your faith is going to go on through the young people — that we are a living faith, we aren’t a dying faith — that’s what makes this such a wonderful experience.” “This is the future,” her husband added. “And it’s wonderful seeing the future here with these young families, sharing their faith with their children, that’s what makes a difference.” The couple, parents to three adult children, was also looking forward to seeing Pope Francis later in the week.

PAINT-BY-NUMBERS • World Meeting of Families attendees apply brushstrokes to the official mural Sept. 25. More than 2,263 people contributed to the mural – commissioned by the World Meeting of Families and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program – earning the artwork a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Craig Pittelli photos

But it wasn’t the first time the pair has found themselves in the presence of a successor of St. Peter. “We are very fortunate. We saw Pope John Paul II in Giants Stadium when he visited, we saw Pope Benedict XVI in Yankee Stadium, and we were thrilled and honored when we were able to meet Pope Francis in Rome two years ago,” Daniel said. “We are so blessed as a couple…Who would have thought while we were growing up in Hamilton — we’re just normal people — that we would be so blessed to meet a Holy Father.” Maria Hidalgo Dolan and Robert

SONGS OF MERCY, SONGS OF PRAISE • A choir of about 250 people sing during the opening Mass of the World Meeting of Families Sept. 22.

Dolan from St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank, saw the Holy Spirit at work at the World Meeting. “This event has been an amazing blessing. It’s wonderful to be here,” Maria said. “The Holy Spirit is stirring things up and really bringing everyone closer to him.” The Dolans have been married for 30 years, and have four sons and a oneyear-old grandchild. Their second-oldest son, Nicholas Dolan, is a seminarian for the Diocese of Trenton at Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. They took the week off from work to take part in the World Meeting. They received two tickets to the Papal events as part of their conference registration, but were unable to attend because they needed to return to their two teenage sons who stayed home for the week. That worked out providentially for another World Meeting attendee. “We had our papal tickets and went to claim them,” said Maria. “As I turned around...there was a man on the floor looking through the garbage.” The man, from Lithuania, was looking for his passes to see Pope Francis, which he had accidentally thrown away. “Now I have no way of going,” the man told Maria right before the Dolans gifted him their passes. “He started crying,” Maria said. “He was stunned...It was a really beautiful thing. I had said to Robert earlier in the morning, ‘There’s someone that God wants us to give these tickets to.’ ” Robert added: “We only had the tickets for less than two minutes and we

STRENGHTENING RELATIONSHIPS • Alyce and Daniel Rossi, parishioners of St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square, attended the World Meeting of Families

found the person who they were meant for.” The Dolans also appreciated the message that was paramount to the weeklong event. “It’s very uplifting, the theme of marriage and children and life. It’s just been really resonating with us,” Maria said. “Learning to walk the walk together to stay married — to pray with each other and pray over each other … This event just confirms that at the heart of what the Church needs to focus on is the joy of marriage and keeping them together.” Mari Marroquin, a former parishioner of St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, who now resides See Attendees • 20

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Keynote speakers stress importance of family life More than 17,000 people, representing more than 100 countries gathered Sept. 22 to 25 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, for the World Meeting of Families. The following are some highlights from the week in Philadelphia. For full stories, visit Bishop Barron tells families to live out ‘image of God’ in society Being created in the image of God is a mission, an adventure and a command that each Catholic is called to carry out into the world and something we need to rediscover as people of faith living in today’s secularized culture, said Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles Sept. 22. He made the comments in the opening keynote address. Bishop Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, host of the awardwinning “Catholicism” film series, and from 2012 to 2015 was the rector/president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary outside Chicago. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop Sept. 8. In a talk that was simultaneously translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese and American Sign Language, Bishop Barron explored how each person is made in the image and likeness of God — “imago Dei” — and the great responsibility and mission that comes with that. Family is like the Trinity, says Cardinal Sarah The first symbol of God’s creative love is when he said, “Let there be light,” because light encourages good and darkness encourages evil, Cardinal Robert Sarah said. Light brings order out of darkness and love out of chaos,

he said in a Sept. 23 keynote. The second great symbol, the pinnacle of God’s creation, comes when God said, “let us make man in our own image and likeness,” added Cardinal Sarah, who spoke on the topic “The Light of the Family in a Dark World.” Formerly the archbishop of Conakry, Guinea, the cardinal is currently prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The family, Cardinal Sarah said, is like the Trinity, which is one in nature but with distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In this perfect unity we find the nature of God, which is love. Man was created for fellowship with God, and God made woman because God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” This formed the first human family, each member equal in dignity and complementary in relationship. Cardinal Tagle: A house is not a home without love All people carry wounds of the heart that only Jesus can heal and his body of Christ, the Church, can be agents of that healing. That’s the message given by Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila during his keynote address Sept. 24. “All wounds hurt, but wounds are more painful and hurtful when we see our family members suffering,” he told the attendees. “The wounds that affect our families today are many, immense and deep.” Things such as financial problems, work conflicts, religious exclusion, discrimination, persecution, domestic violence or abuse can create wounds of the heart. “Open your eyes. Listen to the cries of the wounded. See those wounds. See the crosses of those wounds,” Cardinal

Tagle entreated the crowd. Wounds that go unattended to can make people bitter or become alienated. Even if you have a large house you can still be “homeless,” the cardinal said, because only a loving presence makes a home. Cardinal O’Malley, Pastor Rick Warren urge ‘revitalized’ family life Two well-known Christian preachers agreed: Joy in family life is among the most powerful tools to take Jesus to others. The last keynote took a tagteam approach, when Cardinal Sean P.

HOLY WHEELS • Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, presents a bicycle custommade for Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families opening ceremony Sept. 22. Craig Pittelli photos

O’Malley of Boston and evangelical pastor Rick Warren took to the stage Sept. 25 and urged families to answer their missionary call. The two churchmen shared the one-hour slot to give their respective reflections on the theme, “The Joy of the Gospel of Life,” peppering their talks with humor and personal experience in their own particular style. Warren took the microphone first, addressing thousands of congress participants. He began by recalling Pope Francis’ words that families are under threat. After listing a series of threats against the family in the current culture, he said Christians are “disorganized” and “demoralized” and need to “revitalize our worship, minimize our differences, mobilize our members and re-energize our families.” Rather than focusing on what is negative, Christians need “to be proponents of what is right” and to celebrate the sanctity of life, marriage and family, said Warren, an author and the founder of the evangelical megachurch Saddleback Church in California. Dublin to host next 2018 World Meeting Irish pilgrims in Philadelphia shared their excitement after Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, announced the 2018 World Meeting of Families would be held in Dublin. “I’m shaking,” Irish pilgrim Mary Fitzgibbon said, explaining she had written a letter of appeal to the papal nuncio to Ireland, asking if the next World Meeting of Families could be held in Ireland “because we need it.” Reports from Catholic News Service

Attendees find inspiration, challenge at World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Continued from • 19

near Kansas City, also took part in the World Meeting. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really dive into that catechesis of the Church and how it is pertinent to families,” said Marroquin, a former Realfaith TV cast member. “We need to learn that our mission is love and understand that the family is what’s going to change the world. The Church talks about the family and the domestic Church and that we are called to be Christ to others.” “In the past 72 hours, I’ve really been taught how to listen better,” she said, “to be attentive and open to the Holy Spirit. As a family, we all have our own way that the Lord wants to speak to us...If you’re a wife, a husband, you have this opportunity to serve God within that unit.” Marroquin, like the Rossis, had also seen Pope Francis in person

before, but was looking forward to how others would react to the Holy Father. “I am very excited,” she said. “I have had the opportunity to see Pope Francis in Brazil for World Youth Day, but I’m excited to see others experience him for the first time.” Mariann Gilbride, associate director of the diocesan department of development, took a day away from her duties in the Chancery to learn as much as possible at the World Meeting. Gilbride was impressed by the vast number of people from different places she encountered during her day in Philadelphia. “The atmosphere here has been very welcoming. It’s exciting to hear around you all the different languages that people are speaking because they really are from all over the world,” she said. “But it’s also nice to run into people who you know from here or there … This experience is extraordinary.”

WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF CHRIST • Diocese of Trenton seminarian Hector Ramirez, front, processes as part of the World Meeting of Families opening Mass Sept. 22.

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Spontaneous Celebration

In off-the-cuff remarks at Festival of Families, Holy Father calls the family a ‘factory of hope’ By Laura Ieraci Catholic News Service


ope Francis threw away a prepared text and, to the delight of tens of thousands of people on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, spoke from the heart about the challenges and love that come with being part of a family. After listening to testimony from six families from various continents Sept. 26, he thanked them for sharing their stories. “A witness given in order to serve is thoroughly good, it makes us good persons, because God is goodness,” he began, continuing to increase in speed and emphasis to the delight of the crowd. He smiled, gestured with his hands and the crowd cheered as he said it was “worth being a family.” God sent his son into a family, he said, “and he could do this because it was a family that had a truly open heart,” he said. The Pope spoke in Spanish, the language in which he is most comfortable; his talk was translated by Msgr.

Mark Miles. “We are celebrating the feast of the family,” he told the crowd. “Families have a citizenship that is divine. The identity card that they have is given to them by God so that within the heart of the family truth, goodness and beauty can truly grow.” “Some of you might say of course, Father, you speak like that because you’re not married,” he said. “Families have difficulties. Families – we quarrel, sometimes plates can fly, and children bring headaches. I won’t speak about mother-in-laws,” he quipped. “However, in famiTWILIGHT ENTRANCE • Pope Francis waves to crowds along Benjamin Franklin Parkway as he lies, there is always light” arrives for the Festival of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 26. CNS photo/Eric Thayer because of the love of God’s son. “In the family, there are indeed difcapable of dealing (with) or overcoming “Just as there are problems in famificulties” and children bring challenges, any difficulty. Division of hearts cannot lies, there is the Light of the Resurrectoo, he said. overcome a difficulty; only love can tion,” Francis said. “The family is like a “But those difficulties are overovercome.” See Festival • 32 factory of hope.” come with love,” he said. “Hatred is not

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The Holy Spirit is also calling you to serve! The The Holy Holy Spirit Spirit isis also also calling calling you you toto serve! serve!


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‘Let us cherish freedom’

Independence Hall speech highlights religious liberty, respect for immigrants By Rosemary Daniels Correspondent In front of historic Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed 239 years prior, Pope Francis spoke on the inalienable rights to life and liberty and issued a summons to protect the dignity of all. Throughout his remarks, the Pope acknowledged Philadelphia as the place where “the freedoms which define this country were first proclaimed.” He pointed out that the rights for which the early Americans fought so hard, have to consistently be “re-affirmed, reappropriated, and defended.” A self-described “son of immigrants,” the Pope spoke directly to immigrants watching at Independence Mall and around the country. “You should never be ashamed of your traditions,” he said. “Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.” There were 25,000 tickets were distributed for the event, with total attendance in and around the square estimated at around 40,000. Included in that number was Judy Alvarez, a parishioner in St. Leo the Great Parish in Lincroft, who journeyed to the city with three friends. Throughout her day, she encountered people from all walks of life. “All of us had come to see Pope Francis —even it was just a glimpse — and to hear his message. It was more than just camaraderie. It was a feeling of joy and unity.” Arriving at Independence Hall on Saturday afternoon, the Pope made a loop around the perimeter of the mall

in the popemobile, waving to the faithful who had come from countless states and countries. Shortly after, Pope Francis arrived on stage to the sounds of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, performed by Philly POPS Festival Brass. Because the address was aimed at the Hispanic community of the Philadelphia region, Pope Francis spoke in his native Spanish, with translations provided on-screen for the attendees at the site. Deacon Jose Jiminez, of Corpus Christi Parish, Willingboro, gave his two Mall tickets to his wife and daughter and watched the speech from a giant video screen near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. “I’m in heaven. The Pope spoke to us in Spanish, and I felt great, because I felt I was truly getting the message. “When I moved here from Puerto Rico, my primary language was Spanish and it created a lot of barriers. I understand the immigrant’s struggle. But the Pope’s message was for immigrants not to lose their identity, and to share their gifts with society. He told the crowd, ‘We will find our place, and make society better’. He urged all of us to care for others, and ‘to bring our best’.” John Maguire, director of religious education in St. Paul Parish in Princeton, said that “though the entire speech was in Spanish, and I speak only English…his passion showed so clearly. I was particularly moved by his leading of the Lord’s Prayer.” The Holy Father made an explicit connection between a robust protec-


Before a crowd of approximately 40,000 in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pope Francis delivers an address on immigration and religious liberty Sept. 26. John Blaine photo

tion of religious liberty and a society in which all are welcomed in the richness of their unique identifies. “When individuals and communities are guaranteed the effective exercise of their rights, they are not only free to realize their potential, they also, through their talents and their hard work, contribute to the welfare and enrichment of society as a whole,” he said as part of the 1,600-word address. “We were so blessed and thrilled to be able to be a part of this historic event,” Andy Loh, a parishioner in St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square, said. “My wife Jeanine and I have seen both John Paul II and Benedict XVI in person so it was an amazing privilege to also see Pope Francis! What made

this time even more special, and really was our main reason for going, was to bring our oldest daughter, Teresa, to also share in our joy with us. This provided us a very real way to pass on the faith to the next generation.” Gerald Charmant, who heads the Haitian ministry in Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish, Hamilton, agreed. “The message of the Holy Father tells us immigrants to be not discouraged at the various difficulties we face. We must integrate and fully participate without neglecting our own traditions,” he said. The Holy Father also thanked people of all religions who have cared for those in need and defended life in all its stages. “All too often, the most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard.” As he did throughout his visit to the U.S., the pope ended his remarks with a request to pray for him. Judging by the crowd’s response, the Holy Father will not be in need of prayers any time soon. Associate Editor Patrick Brown contributed to this story.

In visit to Philadelphia prison, Pope stresses forgiveness and redemption By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service While pilgrims in Philadelphia put up with a long weekend of lines and security checks at the papal venues, the pope reached out to a group of people whose lives are lines and security checks for years at a time. Pope Francis spent about an hour at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. He entered the gymnasium from behind a blue curtain, walking up on to the small stage and carefully inspecting the large chair the inmates had made for him. He turned, with a big smile across his face, and gave the inmates a sincere Pope Francis thumbs up. As the U.S. debates the need for penal reform, Pope Francis said prisons must focus on rehabilitation, and he insisted that no one is perfect and without need of forgiveness. While his speech was addressed primarily to the inmates, a small group of their family members, prison officials, state legislators and city officials, including Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, also attended. Deacon Ed Dymek, who ministers

THE HANDS OF CHRIST • Pope Francis shakes hands with an inmate, top, and security guard, at right, on his visit to CurranFromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia Sept. 27. CNS photos/L’Osservatore Romano

at the prison, told CNS, “There’s pope hope.” The prisoners, who were chosen from among those with records for the best behavior, “are as excited as can be,” Deacon Dymek said. “This visit is hopefully inspiration for them to lead better lives.” The Pope also told the inmates he was visiting as a pastor, “but mostly as a brother.”

Serving time in prison is a painful time, said the Pope, who continues to speak on the telephone with inmates he used to visit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Any society, any family, which cannot share or take seriously the pain of its children and views that pain as something normal or to be expected, is a society ‘condemned’ to remain a hostage to itself, prey to the very things which cause that pain.”

Pope Francis insisted Jesus “teaches us to see the world through his eyes – eyes which are not scandalized by the dust picked up along the way, but want to cleanse, heal and restore. He asks us to create new opportunities: for inmates, for their families, for correctional authorities, and for society as a whole.” The Pope spoke to the inmates about Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, explaining that back in those days, people wore sandals and the roads were dusty. Everyone needed to have his or her feet cleaned. Often there were pebbles and stones, too, which hurt. “Life is a journey, along different roads, different paths, which leave their mark on us,” the Pope said. “We know in faith that Jesus seeks us out. He wants to heal our wounds, to soothe our feet, which hurt from traveling alone, to wash each of us clean of the dust from our journey.” Jesus, the Pope said, “doesn’t ask us where we have been, he doesn’t question us what about we have done.” Instead, Jesus washes peoples’ feet and gives them life.

Mission of Love, Mercy


Serra known for blazing trails as missionary Continued from • 10

Catholics in the United States and throughout the world are indebted to St. Junipero and thousands of other witnesses who lived their faith and passed it on, the Pope said in his homily. St. Junipero “was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life,” Pope Francis said. A missionary’s life is exciting and brings joy, he said, because it is not sedentary or turned in on itself. Sharing the Gospel is the way to keep experiencing the joy it brings. More than speaking about St. Junipero, Pope Francis spoke about keeping faith alive and joyful, calling on all Catholics to be missionaries.

“Mission is never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organized manual,” he told the crowd of about 25,000 people. “Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven.” Pope Francis insisted that Jesus does not give Christians “a short list of who is, or is not, worthy of receiving his message, his presence.” Instead, Jesus embraced people as they were, even those who were “dirty, unkept, broken,” he said. Jesus says to believers today, like yesterday, “Go out and embrace life as it is, and not as you think it should be.” Contributing to this story was Constanza Morales.

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Day 1 11/20/2015 10:00 am-4:00 pm Session #1-Pastoral Theology: Suffering & the Healing Mission of Jesus Session #2-Pastoral Spirituality: Love of God, Neighbor and Self Day 2 12/11/2015 10:00 am-4:00 pm Session #3-Pastoral Visits: The Nuts and Bolts of the Pastoral Encounter Session #4-Pastoral Care “Rituals for Laypersons: Rites for Holy Communion and the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying” Day 3 01/15/2016 10:00 am-4:00 pm Session #5-Pastoral Presence & The Art of Holy Listening: Part I (Skills) Session #6-Pastoral Presence & The Art of Holy Listening: Part II (Skills) **Day 4 02/19/2016 10:00 am-4:00 pm Session #7-Pastoral Care of the Dying: Companions on the Journey Home Session #8-Pastoral Care in the Face of Loss: Ministry to the Grieving **Day 5 03/18/2016 10:00 am-4:00 pm Session #9-Pastoral Care in the Parish Grief Support-Group Setting Session #10-Pastoral Care of Families Planning Christian Funerals Day 6 04/08/2016 10:00 am-4:00 pm Session #11-Pastoral Care in Special Circumstances & Cultural Contexts Session #12-Pastoral Care: Legal, Medical & Bioethical Considerations Snow Date: 04/22/2016 10:00 am-4:00 pm Any session or sessions missed due to inclement weather will be made up on this date. **These 2 days are the minimum required to train for Parish Bereavement Ministry. We strongly encourage those who wish to become part of a Parish Bereavement or Separated & Divorced Ministry Team to take the ENTIRE PROGRAM for best preparation. (CHECK BOXES THAT APPLY TO THE LEFT OF EACH SESSION YOU WANT TO ATTEND) Total number of sessions registered for: _____ @ 17.50/session Total due: $ _____________ Name: ________________________________________________ Email: __________________________________________________ Parish: ________________________________ Parish City: ____________________________ _ Phone:________________________

Mail-in Registration: Please include your check payment made payable to; “Diocese of Trenton” Mail to the attention of Christina Aliseo at Diocese of Trenton, Department of Pastoral Care, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, NJ 08648 For More Information Please Call Department of Pastoral Care at: 609-403-7191 Or e-mail Pastoral Care Director Deanna Sass:

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Mission of Love, Mercy


Pope tells priests and bishops ‘God cries’ over sin of abuse By David Sedeno Catholic News Service


ope Francis met with a group of survivors of sexual abuse Sept. 27 and later told bishops that he was overwhelmed by a sense of embarrassment and was committed to holding accountable those who harmed children. In a meeting with cardinals, bishops, priests and seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo, the pope prefaced his address on the importance of the

family by saying that he had met with the group as arranged by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. The Vatican said the 30-minute meeting, with three women and two men abused by members of the clergy or their families or their teachers, was held at the seminary shortly before the Pope addressed the bishops. “It is engraved in my heart, the stories, suffering and pain of the children abused by priests,” the Pope said. “I continue to feel an overwhelming sense


JUBILANT WELCOME • Pope Francis climbs the steps among a crowd of cheering seminarians after his arrival at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood. Craig Pittelli photo

Seminarians struck by Pope’s words Continued from • 16

be quieted as the Holy Father climbed the stairs. The men then broke into song, chanting “Salve Regina” (“Hail, Holy Queen.”) “It was great to look around and see how overjoyed people were,” said McCoy, who is a member of the seminary’s choir. At Pope Francis’ urging, the group then began a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday” in honor of Archbishop Chaput, who was celebrating his 71st birthday that day. That small gesture was something that stuck with Harmon. “Having us sing to Archbishop Chaput, Pope Francis took the spotlight off himself and put it on someone else,” Harmon said, noting that it was a concrete reminder of what the priesthood is all about. “We are here to serve and to help...We are to put Christ and put others before ourselves.” The men also shared a moment with the Holy Father on Sept. 27 as Pope Francis walked through the seminarian-lined loggia of St. Martin of Tours Chapel on his way to address the bishops gathered there. “Being so close to him was a surreal experience,” Harmon said. “You see him on TV all the time … but seeing him in person, you feel the energy, the love.”

While it was difficult for Harmon to pinpoint one moment that would remain with him the longest from Pope Francis’ pastoral visit, he recalled one that stirred deep emotion during the Festival of Families celebration Sept. 26. “It hit me hard … when he asked everyone to join in prayer to the Blessed Mother,” Harmon said. “Praying with Pope Francis to Our Lady ... it just brought tears to my eyes. It was amazing to feel the presence of Christ, the Pope and Mary. To see all these people praying together was overwhelming for me.” McCoy had an easier time whittling his memories into one that will last a lifetime. “Sunday morning, after [Pope Francis] spoke with the Bishops, he lined up with the seminarians outside for a photo. Our house has offered him a spiritual bouquet, a monetary gift for the poor in Rome and a zucchetto,” McCoy said. “He spoke to the house president ... and wished us all well. He told us to remember penance and mortification don’t go out of style. Even though the world may change we mustn’t forget to do penance and deny ourselves. “I was really just struck by how humble and simple he was. When we were around him, you could just kind of feel it. He’s a man of few words, but when he speaks he really has something to say.”

P hiladelphia

of embarrassment because of those bishops. who had in their care the little ones and In his address on the importance of caused them great harm. the family, Pope Francis challenged the “I am deeply sorry. God cries,” he bishops to provide more pastoral leadersaid. ship and guidance in a “consumerism” He said that “the crimes and sin of culture and to encourage young people sexual abuse of children can no longer to opt for marriage and family despite remain secret” and that he “committed challenges that keep many from the the close vigilance of the Church to prosacrament. tect the children, and I promise that all “Today, consumerism determines responsible will be held accountable.” what is important,” the pope said. In his earlier meetings with bishops “Consuming relationships, consuming during his six-day U.S. visit, he told friendships, consuming religions, conthem that he continued to be hurt by suming, consuming ... whatever the cost news of sexual abuse of children and or consequences. A consumption which wanted them to be more vigilant. does not favor bonding, a consumption For years, the Philadelphia Archwhich has little to do with human reladiocese has been tionships. Social bonds rocked by years are a mere ‘means’ for of sexual abuse the satisfaction of ‘my by priests and needs.’” “I promise that all has sold churchAs he had done owned properties on several occasions responsible will be during his U.S. visit to and scaled back ministries to settle United States, the held accountable.” the claims. In 2014, Pope challenged the Pope Francis met in bishops to do more to Rome with victims help refortify the famof sexual abuse by ily, especially the young clergy. However, many groups, includpeople, the future of the Church. ing members of Survivors Network “Many young people, in the context of Those Abused by Priests or SNAP, of this culture of discouragement, continue to be critical of the Vatican have yielded to a form of unconscious and claim it has not done enough for acquiescence,” he said. “Many put off the victims. marriage while waiting for ideal condiIn his private meeting at the semitions, when everything can be perfect. nary, Pope Francis told the survivors Meanwhile, life goes on, without really that they were an inspiration and “minbeing lived to the full. isters of mercy.” He also prayed with “We need to invest our energies not them and said he shared their pain, so much in rehearsing the problems of suffering and shame. the world around us and the merits of “We owe each of them and their Christianity, but in extending a sincere invitation to young people to be brave families a gratitude for their great courand to opt for marriage and the family,” age to bring the light of Christ of the he said. sexual abuse of children,” he told the

Trenton Strong Diocesan clergy and seminarians who gathered on the day of the Bishops’ meeting with the Holy Father Sept. 27. The meeting was held in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa. Pictured from left are seminarians James Harmon, Timothy Graham, Brennen McCoy, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., seminarian Hector Ramirez, Bishop Donald Senior, auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and seminary rectory, Rev. Mr. Richard Osborn, a transitional deacon for the Diocese, seminarian Raymond Patsky, Msgr. Thomas Mullelly, diocesan vicar for Clergy and Consecrated Life, and Father Jason Parzynski, episcopal secretary to Bishop O’Connell.

Mission of Love, Mercy


• 25

P hiladelphia Parishes bring excitement into communities through prayer, fellowship and big video screens By Dubravka Cortese and Armando Machado Correspondents


Parishioners at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, Trenton, watch the broadcast of the Papal Mass from Philadelphia Sept. 27 Frank


hile roughly one million people gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis on Sept. 27, scores of parishioners who were not able to travel to the city had an opportunity to witness history – and join in through prayer – without leaving their own parish communities. About 10 parishes in the Diocese welcomed parishioners to watch the Mass on large screen televisions and then enjoy fellowship and conversation about all they had observed. In Holy Eucharist Parish, Tabernacle, the Welcome Day drew Father Andrew Jamieson, pastor, and 80 parishioners and visitors together at 3 p.m. in Hoffman Hall, to share a potluck meal and brouse the specially-made pope crafts made by children of the parish. Then all eyes were glued to the three wide screen TVs set up for Mass viewing. “It’s an opportunity for our parish to come together in a location that we’re comfortable with,” said Jeff Siedlecki, a member of the Tabernacle Council, Knights of Columbus, which prepared the Welcome Day. The watch was a chance to join “with people from all over the world in prayer and celebration that our Holy Father has come to the U.S. It’s been a thrilling experience to hear him speak and talk about love, mercy and reaching out to the needy.” “It will make us reflect a lot on who we are, our faith and what our mission is,” Father Jamieson said. “He has made us look at our mission – to bring the message of love to this world and to bring us hope.” After viewing the Papal Mass, the parishioners gathered in the church for a parish Mass of Thanksgiving for the Holy Father and his visit to the United States. Focusing on the Holy Father’s message to families and how strong families can strengthen society as a whole, the Giblin family of Holy Eucharist Parish decided to spend the afternoon watching the Papal Mass with members of their parish family. “We wanted to celebrate with other church families,” said Caroline Giblin, who was with her husband, Paul and their three daughters, Emily, 5, Eva, 2, and Erin, 2 months. “Pope Francis is bringing us a message to inspire us.” With a smile, Paul Giblin told of how his 72-year-old grandmother had crossed the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on foot to see the Pope the day before. He said having the Pope so close in proximity to Tabernacle “energizes people and brings them together in a way that they wouldn’t be otherwise.”

Feeney photo

More than 150 faithful of St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, viewed the Mass on the large TV set up in the cathedral proper. The parishioners also enjoyed taking pictures with the cardboard cutouts of Francis and his predecessors, Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. “We thought it was important to gather people here in the Mother Church (of the Diocese), the cathedral, for us who couldn’t go to see the Pope,” said Msgr. Joseph Roldan, cathedral rector. “We thought we would bring him here to us [on TV,] and afterward we’ll have fellowship” in the cathedral undercroft. “This gathering is important because this is history in the making,” added Milady Gonzalez, president of the cathedral’s parish council and choir director. “To share this wonderful mo-

ment in history, is a great opportunity for fellowship, unity and community; it’s just so very special. We’re excited!” Parishioner Mireya Montone found the Pope’s outdoor Mass to be a “powerful event for the nation.” “The Pope did a wonderful job in bringing the love of God to the people,” Mireya said. “It’s just been exciting,” said Sister of St. Joseph Regina McCalla, the liturgy and music coordinator in St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford, who coordinated the Pope Watch with parishioner Caroline Brandt in the parish’s Emmaus Center. Their event included a potluck supper following the Mass. Celebrating the occasion with parishioners “connects us a little more, makes you feel like family” said Sister Regina. “You meet people you know and care about and celebrate our faith and

community.” Watching the Mass with fellow parishioners was a “great blessing,” Donna Surman said.”It feels like we’re all family. It was great that we could get together and watch it as a community.” Along with building community, the watches gave attendees of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to discuss what they found particularly meaningful about the papal visit. “It really helps to promote our Catholic faith because it’s all over the news and we get to embrace our faith,” said Alivia Siedlecki, 15, adding. “We rarely get the opportunity to express our faith in [public] school, but here we can express our feelings and faith.” Current parishioners weren’t the only ones who found inspiration in the day’s events. Holy Eucharist parishioner Carrie Price and her fiancé, Bob Mangold, have recently begun the journey of becoming Catholic and they are also in the process of preparing for marriage. They too gleaned powerful insights from the Holy Father’s message and witness. “I’m just lucky I finally understand how important [the visit] is. People from all different cultures are getting together for this,” Price said. Several Cathedral parishioners spoke of relatives and friends who had See Parishes • 33

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Mission of Love, Mercy


‘A Big Thank You’

In St. Patrick’s Cathedral , Pope offers encouragement to clergy, religious By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service NEW YORK • During an evening prayer service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Pope Francis thanked the nation’s priests, brothers and women religious for their service and gave particular thanks to women religious saying, “Where would the Church be

without you?” The Pope arrived by popemobile at St. Patrick’s Sept. 24 after traveling from Washington. He encouraged those with religious vocations and also acknowledged the pain of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Church saying, “You suffered greatly in the not distant past by having to bear the shame of some of your brothers who harmed and scandalized the Church in the most vulnerable of her members.” He said he wished to accompany them “at this time of pain and difficulty.” Although the Pope was speaking in Spanish, a translation of his remarks was posted on large screen TV. The congregation applauded his remarks about women religious in the United States, whom he described as women of strength and fighters and said their “spirit of courage” puts them “in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel.”

New York City

“To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say thank you, a big thank you, and to tell you that I love you very much.” Speaking to all in the cathedral, he told them: “I know that many of you are in the front lines in meeting the challenges of adapting to an evolving pastoral landscape. Whatever difficulties and trials you face, I ask you, like St. Peter, to be at peace and to respond to them as Christ did: He thanked the Father, took up his cross and looked forward.” See Vespers • 33


Pope Francis arrives at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate vespers with priests, men and women religious in New York Sept. 24. CNS photo/ L’Osservatore Romano


The Pope embraces a woman in a wheelchair outside the Cathedra, delighting the crowd. CNS photo/

AN HISTORIC VENUE • Pope Francis delivers a

homily in which he reminded priests and religious they are “entrusted with a great responsibility” to God’s people.

Paul Haring

CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano

School principals witness history in New York City By Christina Leslie Staff Writer


n addition to the multitudes of Diocese of Trenton faithful who journeyed to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia, many traveled into New York City to participate in the Papal events there. Two diocesan school principals, Cornelius Begley of St. Leo the Great School, Lincroft, and Sister of St. Joseph Kathleen Nace of St. Rose High School, Belmar, were among the tens of thousands who witnessed the pontiff capture the hearts and minds of people in the Big Apple.

Reverence in Midtown

“It was amazing to see the transformation of [Madison Square] Garden from a sports arena to a place of worship,” declared Begley about his trip to New York City for the Papal Mass in Madison Square Garden Sept. 25. “Everyone was dressed well. They were respectful and reverent. Nothing was taken away.” Begley and his wife, Jayme, had

obtained prime tickets just three rows from the altar and enjoyed an unobstructed view of Pope Francis celebrating Mass before the standing-room-only crowds. Despite having hosted sports teams, rock bands and other secular events for nearly a half-century, Begley felt the midtown Manhattan landmark’s transformation as the Holy Father took the stage. “I felt very lucky that I was there,” said Begley, a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. He recalled a similar feeling of awe when, as a student, he attended the Oct. 5, 1995, Giants Stadium Mass celebrated by Pope St. John Paul II. “With the Pope there, the Garden was special.” The St. Leo the Great School principal will carry the themes of giving of oneself from the Pope’s homily back to his Lincroft grammar school. “The Pope is a very spiritual person,” Begley stated. “His words help us remember that from those of us who have much, much is expected. “I will remind the students, ‘your Catholic faith is universal,’” he contin-

ued. “To see the Pope, everyone there, even non-Catholics, were very reverent, very respectful. Everyone knew they were there for a special moment in the history of the Church and the history of the country.”

‘Be joyful, be grateful and work hard’

“It was phenomenal,” Sister Kathleen said of her group’s trip to participate in vespers in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Sept. 24. The high school principal was accompanied by Msgr. Edward J. Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, Belmar; Father Walter Quiceno, the parish’s parochial vicar, and Dr. Margaret Boland, assistant superintendent in the diocesan Department of Catholic Schools, who had received tickets from an alumna of St. Rose who serves as development director for Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New York. The group arrived by 3 p.m. to get through security checkpoints, and had time to tour the newly-renovated cathedral. “It was so bright and fresh, it glowed,” Sister Kathleen said. Each pew held gift bags contain-

ing a journal from the Archdiocese of New York, a translation of St. Luke’s Gospel, and a prayer card. A choral performance, talks on the history of the papacy and the cathedral and the recitation of the Rosary preceded the Pope’s arrival, as did a gentle admonition by St. Patrick Cathedral rector, Msgr. Robert T. Ritchie. “The Monsignor told the crowd, ‘I know we will be like teenagers at a rock concert when the Pope arrives, but we have to remain respectful once the service begins,’” Sister Kathleen recalled. “But when Cardinal Dolan went back to greet the Pope, and open those bronze doors so he could come in, the place erupted.” The quartet from Trenton joined in the exuberant applause from their seats in the center aisle about 20 rows from the altar. Television monitors mounted on the pillars carried the Pope’s words and translated them from Spanish to English when the pontiff switched to his native tongue. Sister Kathleen was especially grateful at the Pope’s public recognition of the See NYC • 33


Mission of Love, Mercy


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Mission of Love, Mercy

CNS photo/Jin Lee, pool


CNS photo/Paul Haring

28 •

CNS photo/Paul Haring

POPE MAKES SOMBER, REFLECTIVE VISIT TO GROUND ZERO At a interreligious service of remembrance, Pope Francis offered his prayers for the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and called for unity in the face of violence. Outside of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Pope Francis prayed at the pool that marks the footprint of the towers, above right, and lit a candle of remembrance for those lost before meeting with families of the deceased. The Pope delivered his remarks next to the final steel beam removed from the site, and exchanged greetings of peace with faith leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, Greek Orthodox, Hindu and other communities, and later was taken on a tour of the Museum, stopping, above left, in front of an art installation that reads “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” The Pope, seen at left with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan passing the Ladder Company 3 firetruck at the museum, told the attendees that “Here, amid pain and grief, we also have a palpable sense of the heroic goodness which people are capable of.”

New York City

Francis in New York: Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe By Lois Rogers Correspondent


or one day, New York City was not just a global hub of finance and commerce. It was the destination for thousands of pilgrims. Some were lucky enough to have received tickets to see the Pope pass through Central Park. Others came hoping to soak in the ambiance, and if they were lucky, catch a glimpse of the man who has inspired so many across the globe. One of those hoping for a lucky glimpse of the Holy Father was Laurence Harbor’s Bob Pastoressa. A construction worker on the Twin Towers during their construction, he had responded immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and volunteered his skills as an electrician to help “bring the lights back” in order to facilitate work around the clock. Pastoressa had hoped to see Pope Francis the night before when

he arrived for Vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral but that plan was set aside when he and his wife learned of the death of one of her close friends. Now, as he drove into lower Manhattan on his Harley-Davidson Low Rider, Pastoressa hoped to add one more memory to a place that already held so much meaning for him.

An Early Morning Pilgrimage Lisa Ventura of Middletown, her daughter Jessica, and a cousin, Rosalie Holland of Hamilton, had received some of the tickets distributed for Pope Francis’ drive through Central Park. They boarded a New York Waterway Ferry in New Monmouth as the commuter rush was winding down. Ventura, a member of St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft, described her daughter, a seventeen-year-old senior at St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, as a “very big fan of Pope Francis.”

Precious Blood parishioner meets Francis at Ground Zero Trisha Straine MacGregor, a parishioner in Precious Blood Parish, Monmouth Beach, regards the World Trade Center site as her late husband’s burial place. When she met Pope Francis as the site, the place of sorrow became a place of hope.

To read the full story, visit

From the time the visit was announced, she said, Jessica kept saying “we have to go.” When a friend gave them Central Park tickets, they were thrilled. “We just love him,” Lisa Ventura said. “Everyone seems to love him.” “He’s so humble and relatable,” said Holland, a member of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton MEETING IN FAITH • Monitor correspondent Lois Rogers, Square. “I’ve never second from left, met others from throughout the Diocese and been to Rome. I’ve across the country at Ground Zero to witness the interfaith never been to the service and pray for those who were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 Vatican. This is a first terrorist attacks. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Schmidt Saldebar for me. A lifetime Museum in lower Manhattan. experience.” September 25 would have been the As the ferry made its way over 49th birthday of her late son, Brian. She choppy waters, they met Spring Lake’s Linda Walls, also on her way to Manhat- wanted to spend it in a place that mattan to see the Pope.Walls had no tickets, tered very much to him, where he had been able to channel his artistic gifts only a hope of turning a melancholy into healing stone. day into a day to remember. Walls, a After exchanging contact cradle Catholic, received her Sacraments information with the Venturas, Walls in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, looked for a spot that looked like a now a worship site of Mother of Mercy likely area the Pope might pass by on Parish, Asbury Park, and hoped to his way to the memorial. She gravitated glimpse Pope Francis entering or exittowards a small group that had formed, ing an interfaith prayer service at the consisting of Elizabeth Saldevar, National September 11 Memorial and See Pilgrims • 34

New York City

Mission of Love, Mercy


• 29

Schedule takes Pope from UN to immigrant community


he ‘city that never sleeps’ welcomed a guest from the Eternal City for a whirlwind thirty-seven hours that took him from Harlem to Lower Manhattan. Friday began with a speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations before an interreligious prayer service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. “Economic and social exclusion is a complete denial of human fraternity and a grave offense against human rights and the environment,” he said in his speech, the fifth time a Pope has addressed the United Nations. Helping to celebrate the organization’s 70th anniversary, Pope Francis visited its headquarters Sept. 25 and pleaded with government leaders and U.N. officials to keep the dignity and sacredness of every human life and the value of all creatures at the center of their concern. “The poorest are those who suffer most from such offenses, for three serious reasons: they are cast off by society, forced to live off what is discarded and suffer unjustly from the abuse of the environment. They are part of today’s widespread and quietly growing ‘culture of waste’.” More than 190 heads of state were attending the General Assembly, and many of them made a point of being in the U.N.’s historic hall for Pope Francis’


Pope Francis listens to students of Our Lady, Queen of Angels School in the East Harlem area of New York sing a welcoming song Sept. 25. CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters

NO TO A ‘CULTURE OF WASTE’ • Pope Francis addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York Sept. 25. CNS photo/Mike Segar, Reuters

speech on the eve of discussion of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and, later in the year, the Paris Conference on Climate Change. “The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because

they are only considered as part of a statistic. This common home of all men and women must also be built on the understanding of a certain sacredness of created nature.” In the afternoon, the Holy Father visited Our Lady, Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, where eager schoolchildren greeted him with song and tried (unsuccessfully) to teach him how to use an interactive videoboard. The Pope reminded the students of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and encouraged them to “keep dreaming. We celebrate all the

opportunities which enable you, and us adults too, not to lose the hope of a better world with greater possibilities. So many of the people I have met are also dreaming with you, they are dreaming of this. That is why they are doing this work. They are involved in your lives to help you move ahead. All of us dream. Always.” After a crowd of 80,000 watched the popemobile drive through Central Park, the world’s most famous arena was turned into a sanctuary as Pope Francis said Mass at Madison Square Garden. Reports from Catholic News Service were used in this story.

Our Pope Francis has declared that on December 8th we will begin a Year of Mercy. He defines mercy as “...what dwells in our hearts when we truly look into the eyes of our sisters and brothers.” Pope Francis also writes that, “mercy is the bridge that connects God and man.....opening our hearts to the hope of being loved despite our sinfulness.”

Notre Dame High School Mercy Day Liturgy

On September 24th, Notre Dame celebrated Mercy Day in remembrance of all that the

Sisters of Mercy did to give birth to this Notre Dame Family. In keeping with Pope Francis’s declaration, Notre Dame faculty, staff and students look forward to a Year of Mercy. Quotes taken from Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis’s declaration on the Year of Mercy.

Know that moment when spirituality reveals peace. Notre Dame presents a diverse, faith-filled community, mindful of every student’s uniqueness and heritage. Teachers instruct with a spiritual and theological context in the classsroom. Daily prayer and active participation in youth-oriented school liturgies foster moral development. Come to grow and know the joy that comes from inner peace.

Come to know

Notre Dame High School


October 22, 7 - 9 p.m. Register online

601 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648w609.882.7900, ext. 139 or 183

30 •

Mission of Love, Mercy


Ground Zero event resonated in Freehold

Pope parties to be a cherished memory

By Armando Machado Correspondent

Continued from • 13

Michele Dellisanti was among parishioners who gathered in the parish center of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Freehold, Sept. 25 to watch the live broadcast of the interfaith service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. There they watched the coverage of Pope Francis offering words of comfort and prayers of hope to the United States and especially to the families who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. While Dellisanti has been watching most of the papal visit coverage at home, she felt the need to “get out and be in a holy environment” when the Pope was IN SOLIDARITY • A contingent of pato be at the Ground Zero Memorial. The rishioners from St. Robert Bellarmine Par“holy environment” she chose was her ish, Freehold, and their pastor, Msgr. Sam parish community. Sirianni, gathered to watch the Holy Father’s “I knew that I would be able to visit to Ground Zero during his time in New York Sept. 25. Joe Moore photo be more peaceful here,” she said of the gathering which drew a contingent of the extremely dusty rubble in the aftermath parishioners together with their pastor, of the terrorist attacks. Msgr. Sam Sirianni. “[Pope Francis] is a man Commenting on the interfaith service of compassion, love and integrity, and a which included Christian, Islam and Jewish messenger of God.” leaders, Msgr. Sam Sirianni said, “To see The Holy Father’s presence at Ground how that service was put together and the Zero held added meaning for Dellisanti as way they prayed together, the way they she related how her husband is a New York shared the different traditions of peace was City fireman and developed respiratory very powerful – very powerful.” problems as a result of having worked amid

included the word “party,” there was ample opportunity for learning. “My favorite part of the Pope Party was getting to work together to review what we had learned by watching the Pope address Congress, as well as learning more about Pope Francis in a deeper aspect,” said eighth grader Kat Connelly. “By using what we know and using reliable websites we were able to accomplish learning more facts about the Pope on a more personable level.” Eighth-grader Jameson Susi mentioned enjoying listening to the words of Pope Francis, and then playing a special game of bingo using the issues he discussed. “The visit of Pope Francis was very important to me because he is very caring of all people, whether they are Catholic or not,” said Susi. “He also traveled a very long way to come and help us realize that we can fix problems in this world.” While the older students watched the Pope’s address live, those in kindergarten through the sixth grades celebrated his visit by wearing #PopeInUSA red t-shirts and taking pictures with a special banner donated to the school, as well as with coloring pages and even taking photos of their own “Flat Francis” on their various travels. The students wrote letters to the Pope on the back of each. “As a Catholic, this is a once in a lifetime event,” eighth-grader Cassandra Haussmann said of the Pope’s tour through Washington, New York and Philadelphia. “It is important to watch the Pope because he is the leader of our

faith and has important opinions on current events in the United States and in the world.” Pat Sargent, an eighth-grade teacher, shared her hopes that her students picked up on the historical significance of the Pope’s message to Congress. “I [hope] that the students would be able to make a connection between our beliefs as Catholics and the ability Congress has to enact laws to support these beliefs,” she said, adding that there is a special relevance given her role as an educator. “Recognizing the occasion of the Pope’s address to Congress was important to all of us as Catholics, but especially for the young adults I teach.” The Holy Cross School family was invited into the gymnasium to view the arrival of the Pope at the White House Sept. 23, said William Belluzzi, principal. “I thought the Pope’s appearance with President Obama…would be a good event for the whole school to watch,” Belluzzi said. “Even the youngest kids know who the two figures are.” The children had prepared for the papal visit by studying his life and teachings in their religion classes, he noted. Viewing the events as they occurred served as reinforcement of their faith and the makings of a memory to be shared with future generations. “I told them, ‘It was important that you do this as a group,’” Belluzzi said. “There are certain events in people’s lives that you remember and tell your children. You can tell them you all gathered in the gym and watched it together.”

SAINT JOSEPH HIGH SCHOOL 145 Plainfield Avenue, Metuchen, NJ 08840 732-549-7600 ~

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New York City

Mission of Love, Mercy


Pope brings Gospel of

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‘encounter’ to Madison Square Garden

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service


eeing New York for the first time in his 78 years of life, Pope Francis said he knew Madison Square Garden was an important gathering place for sporting events and concerts. For him, it was transformed into a chapel in the heart of the Big Apple. True peace in a big city comes from seeing the vast variety of people not as a bother, but as a brother or sister, Pope Francis said in his homily during the Mass Sept. 25 at “The Garden” where 20,000 people gathered to pray with him. With tough security and long lines, people arrived hours early. They prayed and listened to inspirational music sung live by Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Hudson and Harry Connick Jr. Before vesting for Mass, Pope Francis entered the arena in an electric cart, riding up and down the aisles, kissing babies and blessing several sick children. In his homily, the Pope urged the congregation to go out into the city, to seek the face of Jesus in the poor and suffering and to share the joy of the Gospel with all. Jesus urges his disciples “to go out and meet others where they really are, not where we think they should be,” Pope Francis said. “Go out to others and share the good news that God, our father, walks at our side,” the Pope told them. “He frees us from anonymity, from a life of emptiness and selfishness” and moves people to encounter and to peace instead of competition. The Pope had visited ground zero earlier in the day, participating in an interreligious service for peace. The evening Mass used the readings and

WELCOME TO NEW YORK • Pope Francis celebrates Mass with a full house at Madison Square Garden in New York Sept. 25. CNS photo/Paul Haring ‘GOD IS LIVING IN OUR CITIES’ •

Pope Francis delivers the homily at Mass in Madison Square Garden, which was concelebrated with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Photo by Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

prayers for a Mass for peace and justice. The first reading, from the Book of Isaiah, began with the passage, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” People who are faithful to God, the Pope said, “can see, discern and contemplate his living presence” in the midst of the city. “The people who walk, breathe and live in the midst of smog, have seen a great light, have experienced a breath of fresh air.” The Pope, who was born in and served as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a city of three million people, said he knows it is not always easy living in a big city, especially one

made up of people of dozens of different languages and cultures. However, he said, those differences are riches that express “all the different ways we human beings have discovered to express the meaning of life.” Pope Francis recited most of the Mass prayers in English, although he read the eucharistic prayer in Latin. He preached in Spanish and the prayers of the faithful were offered in Italian, German, Polish and Tigrinya, one of the languages spoken in Ethiopia. For Christians, the real challenge of big cities is the way that they can “conceal the faces” of people who don’t fit in or even are treated as if they had no right to be there, Pope Francis said. “They are the foreigners, the children who go without schooling, those deprived of medical

IT’S BEEN WAITING FOR YOU • Pope Francis rides through New York’s Central Park in the popemobile Sept. 25. CNS Photo/Richard Drew, pool

insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly.” Too many people just walk by them, he said. They have become part of the “urban landscape.” But being a Christian means seeing Jesus in others, all of them, and actually looking for his face in the faces of those who usually are ignored, the Pope said. The Christian virtue of hope frees people from isolation and self-absorption, it is “unafraid of involvement,” he said, and it “makes us see, even in the midst of the smog, the presence of God as he continues to walk the streets of our city.”

THE GARDEN BECOMES A CHAPEL • Pope Francis pauses for silent prayer during Mass at Madison Square Garden in New York Sept. 25. CNS photo/Mike Crupi

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Mission of Love, Mercy


Festival features artistic performances, personal testimonies Continued from • 21

The three-hour celebration of Catholic family life began as the sun started to set over Philadelphia. The festival included prayer, music, dance, comedy and testimonies of faith and followed on the heels of the eighth World Meeting of Families Sept. 22-25. Shortly after 7 p.m., the Pope began his approach to the festival site in his popemobile, waving to the thousands of people who lined the route. Dozens of flags and banners of different countries hung over steel barricades lining the route into Benjamin Franklin Parkway toward the Festival of Families stage. He mounted the festival stage to raucous cheers, shortly after 7:30 p.m., and led the crowd in a prayer of petition for the family. Actor Mark Wahlberg emceed the portion of the evening featuring the pope. Among the renowned entertainers to perform for the pope and offer testimonies of faith were American soul singer Aretha Franklin and Italian tenor

Andrea Bocelli. Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla read a letter her mother, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, had penned to her father, bearing witness to their faithful marriage. Six couples from different continents also shared their life stories. In his talk, the pope noted the challenges families face, including quarrels and inimical relationships. “Never let the day end without making peace,” he said. “A society is strong, it’s solid if it’s edified on beauty, goodness and truth.” He told those present that God likes most “to knock on the doors of families and to find families that are united, that love each other” and who raise their children in view of creating “a society of truth, goodness and beauty.” The family must take special care of children and grandparents, he said. Children are “the strength that moves us forward” and “grandparents are the living memory of the family. They pass on the faith; they transmitted

A DIFFERENT TYPE OF GRACE • Pope Francis looks on as members of the Philadelphia Ballet perform at the Festival of Families during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 26. CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz the faith to us.” “To look after grandparents and children is an expression of love,” he said. “A people that does not know how

to look after children and grandparents is a people that has no future because it does not have the strength or the memory to go forward.”


Mass with Pope Francis brings one million to parkway Continued from • 17

Si (“Praised Be You”), On Care for Our Common Home.” “Our common house can no longer tolerate sterile divisions,” he said. “The urgent challenge of protecting our home includes the effort to bring the entire human family together in the pursuit of a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.” The Pope asked the congregation to consider how they treat each other in their own home. “Do we shout or do we speak to each other with love and tenderness? That’s a good way of measuring our love.” Calling the Church to renew faith in the word of God, the pope said people can live prophetic lives as a “kind of miracle in today’s world.” “Would that we could all be

prophets. Would that all of us could be open to miracles of love for the sake of all the families of the world, and thus overcome the scandal of a narrow, petty love, closed in on itself, impatient of others,” he said. As the Mass concluded, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who also was lead Vatican organizer of the World Meeting of Families, announced the next meeting will take place in Dublin in 2018. Six families, representing five continents, received copies of the Gospel of Luke. Families from Syria, Vietnam, France, Australia, Congo and Cuba were chosen for their Church involvement and faith life. The Vatican also planned to distribute 100,000 copies of Luke’s Gospel in the families’ home countries.

Looking back with love at Pope Paul VI’s 1965 visit to New York “On Oct. 4, American Catholics with long memories will mark the 50th anniversary of the first visit to this continent by a Roman Catholic pope. I’m one of them. For so many of us, this is a significant anniversary. Looking back, I see that his whirlwind tour of Manhattan set the tone for all the papal visits to follow...”

‘NEVER AGAIN WAR’ • Pope Paul VI makes a special appeal for world peace in 1965 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. CNS photo/Yutaka Nagata, U.N.

To read Lois Rogers’ reflection on the visit’s 50th anniversary, go to and click on COMMENTARY>OP/ED.

AN HOURS-LONG WAIT TO TAKE PART IN HISTORY • Approxmiately one million pilgrims waited in lines, like the one seen here, for up to six hours to pass through security to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis Sept. 27. Craig Pitelli photo

Mission of Love, Mercy


Vespers service inspires attendees Continued from • 26

The Pope urged those in religious life to be thankful for their many blessings and graces and encouraged them to continue their “spirit of hard work” without getting caught up in “spiritual worldliness” or simply being efficient, which he said can weaken one’s commitment to serve and also “diminishes the wonder of our first encounter with Christ.” The Pope gently reminded the priests and religious men and women that they have “been entrusted with a great responsibility, and God’s people rightly expect accountability from us.” He also said they need to view their apostolate “by the value it has in God’s eyes” which calls for “constant conversion” and great humility remembering that their job is to plant the seeds and God will see to “the fruits of our labors.” Pope Francis even warned the priests and religious against surrounding themselves with “worldly comforts,” which they might say would help them serve better. The danger with that, he said, is it slowly but surely “diminishes our spirit of sacrifice, renunciation and hard work. It also alienates people who suffer material poverty and are forced to make greater sacrifices than ourselves.” “Rest is needed, as are moments of leisure and self-enrichment, but we need to learn how to rest in a way that deepens our desire to serve with generosity. Closeness to the poor, the refugee, the immigrant, the sick, the exploited, the elderly living alone, prisoners and all God’s other poor, will teach us a different way of resting, one which is more Christian and generous,” the Pope said.

NYC services provide inspiration, memories Continued from • 26

work by the religious nuns. “In a special way I would like to express my esteem and my gratitude to the religious women of the United States,” Pope Francis said in his homily. “What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel. To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say “thank you”, a big thank you… and to tell you that I love you very much.” The recognition did not go unnoticed. “I thought it was great when he thanked the sisters for their service; it was a highlight of his talk. When everyone stood and applauded, it was nice to see,” she said. “He presented us with a good challenge: be joyful, be grateful, and work hard. I loved his gentleness, his sense of forgiveness, of welcome, of joy.” “We need to do what Jesus did, thank God, pick up his cross and move forward. It’s sometimes a challenge in our community,” noted Sister Kathleen, who is approaching her silver jubilee as a religious. “We need to look at what religious life will become, not to only look back. There is so much more to come.” Like Begley, Sister Kathleen has plans to share the message of the Pope with her students. “I’ll tell them: be joyful, be grateful, and put yourself at the service of God’s people. All of us should do this.”

• 33

Parishes host watches to bring Papal excitement home Continued from • 25

spoke of relatives and friends who had left the Church years ago and now plan to attend Mass and become active in the faith again simply because of the powerful example of Pope Francis. “Some friends of mine returned to the Church this past week,” said Mireya Montone. “They told me they felt a sincere spirituality, an honest one, because of the pope.” In Medford, Sister Regina said she hopes the pope can “give families a shot in the arm,

to show them just how important family life is. For those who have not been getting married, maybe this will show them the importance of marriage.” Aida Morales, the Cathedral’s office manager, has a relative who plans to return to the Church. He has told her how the papal visit “brought him to a different place spiritually… he feels a closeness to the Church again and to this particular pope.” “He is starting to talk about the Church and gain and to me that’s a beautiful thing,”

Morales said. Gonzalez said she enthusiastically agrees with the pope’s remarks on Saturday night about the family being a “factory of hope.” “Yes, we are a factory of hope,” said Gonzalez, who has been married for 22 years and is the mother of two children. “I think if we (as a society) can carry that toward the future, the importance of unity, of family – what our Lord Jesus Christ taught us, and Mary and Joseph – the Holy Family, then we will have a brighter future.”

34 •

New York City

Mission of Love, Mercy


Pilgrims make new friendships while awaiting Pope at Ground Zero Continued from • 28

San Marino, Ca., the Rev. Mr. Rafael Majano, recently-ordained transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of Omaha, Bonnie H. Reiner, of Massachusetts and Manhattan – and Bob Pastoressa. There, right up against the barricade and within close range of watchful Secret Service agents, they focused their eyes on the West Side Highway hoping to hear the rumble of motorcycles and the whirr of helicopter blades that would signal the Pope’s arrival. Over the next four hours, they would come to know each other by name and share insights about why they were willing to stand for hours with no guarantees in hopes of making visual contact with Pope Francis. Deacon Majano shared how he was so inspired by the Pope that he followed Francis on every leg of his itinerary, with tickets or without. “We are both from South America and seeing him is a real pleasure,” said the transitional deacon. “I hope to see him many times more.” Saldebar, originally from New York, made it a point to try to see Pope Francis at Ground Zero during her visit to the Big Apple – so much so that she was willing to risk missing her flight home for a chance to see him, even from a

distance. Reiner shared that Francis’ example had touched her deeply. “He’s inspiring me to go back to church, to give back, to volunteer, to carry his message. In his message you see the possibility that if everyone starts to act, you can change the world.” Pastoressa told the group about his long-standing connection to the World Trade Center site. Then Walls shared her family’s own history with the new building glistening in front of them – Her late son, Brian, who died of lung cancer last year, had been a noted artist in glass and stone, and had created the original cornerstone for the Freedom Tower, re-situated to an off-site location when the design for the tower changed. Even though the stone was no longer at the World Trade Center site, she said, the project meant so much to Brian, that coming to Ground Zero on this day would bring her close to him.

Keeping Watch Unlike other sites on the Pope’s journey, there were no screens to keep the Ground Zero pilgrims apprised of the Pope’s comings and goings. Though thousands upon thousands awaited him, no roar ever went up

from the crowd to signal his arrival, and it was left to Saldebar, assisted by Reiner, to try to keep everyone in the immediate area informed. A text came in – yes, Pope Francis was on site leading a powerful service of hope and reconciliation. The texts Saldebar received and shared enabled the group and everyone around them to enter into the prayer, to join in the sign of peace simultaneously with Pope Francis and the leaders of world religions assembled with him inside the memorial’s Foundation Hall. Here, in the financial center of the world, they were part of a vast Catholic community, praying for peace. Though Pastoressa would not get to see Francis, he came away with something he considered precious: the gift of shared expectations, hopes and beliefs; the comfort drawn from standing for hours among a throng of pilgrims who reflect the universal nature of the Church. Looking around, Walls smiled and said that while she didn’t get to see the Pope, she did get to meet a wide variety of people inspired by him at the edge of Ground Zero. It was, she said, a celebration her son would have loved. The hoped-for close-up of the Pope

did not materialize, but the gifts of his spirit certainly did.

Central Park: Flurry of Activity More than 50 city blocks away, the Venturas and Holland spent some time in St. Patrick’s Cathedral enjoying the newly restored sacred space before joining the queue Central Park. The queue would swell to 80,000 before the Pope’s drive through was underway. They would wait for five hours for a quick pass-by from the popemobile. Holland noted afterwards that every time sections of the crowd got restive, a gentle wind would sweep through the area to help calm everyone down. When the moment finally came, Holland said, it happened so fast that there were only two choices: to whip out your cell phone to try for a photo, or to look-really look-at the Pope. She chose the latter, seeing, all too briefly, the man of God she envisioned in his simple white vestments and walking shoes, smiling broadly as he waved at the adoring crowd. It was a “lifetime experience,” she said. Whether an in-person look or a faroff glimpse at a tiny black Fiat, those who made the journey into New York City knew they had also made a memory that would last a lifetime.

Mission of Love, Mercy




• 35


Knee Pain Treatment Makes Surgery Obsolete?




Hundreds of Jersey Shore Knee Pain sufferers choose all-natural medical treatment over Knee Knee Pain Pain Treatment Treatment Makes Surgery Surgery Obsolete? Obsolete? surgery to relieve arthritis pain Makes - doctors office swarmed for FDA cleared treatment covered

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unique because - even though it is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company, it is NOT considered a drug because it is a natural substance with an incredible story. Why So Many Want It You see, when you suffer with arthritis - the lubricating fluid in your knee joint dries up.

of the rubbing, grinding and pain. Can Supplements Do The Same Thing?

No. Glucosamine and chondroitin and other supplements are much different. You can only get this from a doctor and it often helps knee pain sufferers who got limited or no success from glucosamine and

Some patients get quite a bit of relief right away - others take a little more time. But most have been extremely happy and the results usually last for at least 6 months. Patients who were suffering for years with bad knee pain are getting their lives back... going for walks again and exercising. It’s amazing to see. They tell all their friends

screening - so if you are interested please call now. And here’s something really important - viscosupplementation treatments are covered by most insurance and Medicare. To schedule your free screening, or if you have any questions, call the Osteo Relief Institute at 732-561-4551.

36 •

Mission of Love, Mercy


“It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions.” — POPE FRANCIS

With Catholic Extension your donations become “our actions.”

America’s papal society reaching out to those on the margins

1 94 110 550 12,000 100,000 3.8M 1.2B

We have a singular mission to build up the Catholic Church in the poorest communities throughout America. Catholic dioceses we serve in 37 states and U.S. territories. Years we have been serving poor communities on the margins. Seminarians we currently support in 50 dioceses. Grants we have provided for the construction or repair of churches and church facilities since 1905. Catholic students we support through campus ministries, ensuring the future of the U.S. Catholic Church.

Amount funded in the last four years toward women religious who, for many Catholics in remote areas, are the pastoral face of the Church. Dollar amount* of grants awarded since 1905 to U.S. mission dioceses that lack the resources to support themselves. *Adjusted for inflation

Discover how you can put your faith into actions at



• S1

Diocesan faithful take to the Parkway By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor, Brittany Wilson, Social Media Coordinator and David Karas, Correspondent Throughout Philadelphia, and along the Francis Festival grounds, crowds gathered Sept. 27 around Jumbotrons to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father making his way to the site of his 4 p.m. Mass officially closing the World Meeting of Families. Among the joyful throngs greeting Pope Francis in the “city of brotherly love and sisterly affection” were hundreds of faithful of the Diocese of Trenton, eager to experience the “Francis Effect” for themselves. Joe and Kathie Patto, members of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Marlton, chatted with friends and fellow pilgrims on their Philadelphia-bound bus about the coverage of the papal visit so far. “It’s just amazing to me,” Kathie said. “One of the things that really moved me was his visit to the Sept. 11 memorial.” Aboard the bus from Maple Shade was Elaine Jackson, a member of St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford. She was inspired to join the pilgrimage by her daughter, who flew in from California to join her mother and sister for the experience. She was struck by Pope Francis’ “love and peace” he has brought in his first visit to America. A contingent of journalism students from Rider University, Lawrenceville, saw their journey to Philadelphia as an opportunity to hone their reporting skills by covering a major event such as the papal Mass. Thomas Simonet, professor of journalism at Rider, accompanied the students. “I think (Pope Francis) is a very important figure in the world today,” Simonet said, adding that his advocacy for peace and social justice place him in the company of figures as prominent as Martin Luther King, Jr. Mary‐Lyn Buckley, a student from Staten Island, N.Y., said she regards Francis as a “unique pope” and

BURLINGTON BUNCH • Folks from Burlington County parishes were hoping to catch a glimpse of the “real” Pope Francis during their visit to Philadelphia Sept. 27. Shown from left are Nicole and Brenden Cleary of St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, Theresa McKenna of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown, and Ryan, Rebecca and Matthew Forchic of Holy Eucharist, Tabernacle. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Forchic

FAMILY DAY • Tori Baselice, 11, a sixthgrader in Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Maple Shade, attended the Mass with her parents, Jimmy and Cyndi.

appreciates how he embraces people of all people – no matter what their faith. She added that she is impressed with the Pope’s interest in the environment, a topic which she is passionate about. Rider senior Claire Dalzon, said that, while she is not Catholic, she recognizes the impact that the Pope is having at the global level. “I cannot deny Pope Francis as a world leader,” she said. Nicole Callahan stood in line at 20th Street for more than three hours Sunday to join in the celebration of the Mass on the parkway. “My family is very religious,” Callahan wrote on a small, reporter’s notepad because of difficulties speaking caused by a jaw condition. “I have two children who I had difficulties having, and now that my jaw is wired shut, I wanted to experience this love. I hope to be blessed by all the families who are gathered together.” Callahan was travelling with a group of family members from Flourtown, Pa., a suburb about 15 miles outside Philadelphia. Callahan is originally from Howell, and was a member of St. Veronica Parish there for many years. She was married in the parish in 2004. “My uncle is a priest in Phila-

body, the Body of Christ,” he said. He compared Pope Francis to another well-known person with the same name. “Pope Francis is a lot like St. Francis himself, in that he was so known for saying the most profound things in the simplest terms.” Though they were positioned at 19th and Locust Streets, watching the Mass on a giant video board, Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishioners Jimmy and Cyndi Baselice, and their daughter, Tori, were riding high about their day’s experience and bubbled over with enthusiasm about attending the Mass with Pope Francis. Cyndi said she had been tuning into papal coverage “constantly” throughout the week. She was especially taken with the Holy Father’s message to the bishops - “He doesn’t pull any punches,” she said. Cyndi said she was heartened to see people from all over the world converge on Philadelphia – the city of brotherly love. She said, “I think this shows that people do care, they care that they are part of a family, the Catholic Church family, and they are proud of it.” Carly York of Middletown, and her family, husband Chris York, stepdaughter Madison York and children Collin and Alistair Hall, travelled to Philadelphia to experience the Festival of Families and Papal Mass. “It was wonderful to hear what the Pope had to say about families,” she said. Noting that her children are fourthand fifth-grade students in Holy Cross School, Rumson, she said, “My kids were just so excited for the Pope to come. … It was kind of like that Palm Sunday jubilance that Jesus must have had. “If I was ever going to imagine what Palm Sunday felt like, it might have been like waiting for the Popemobile to go by.”

TIME OF PRAYER • A U.S. serviceman prayerfully watches the Papal Mass on a giant video screen set up on Spring Garden Street, a few blocks from the Philadelphia Art Museum. David Karas photo

delphia,” she wrote. “Being part of a family of faith my whole life, I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” For some, travelling to Philadelphia to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis was bittersweet. Mary Sobon, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Brant Beach, was thinking about her late husband, who died earlier this year. “He would have been here with me if he was still alive. It’s hard today,” she said. “But I’m having a great time with my three girlfriends who are here with me.” Sobon arrived in Philadelphia on a bus trip sponsored by her parish, with friends Pam Wilson of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square, and Margery Lukens and Anna Rackison of Sts. Francis and Clare Parish, Florence Township. “I’m pleased to be here, I’m humbled. I have my tissues ready,” Sobon said while standing on a chair to get the best possible view of Pope Francis. “This is the first time in my 66 years that I’m going to see a Pope. “He is just wonderful. He blows me away when he stops his motorcade and kisses the children. I start to cry, I get very emotional. I’m probably going to fall off this chair here as he goes by.” Dan Duddy, a parishioner of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, and a teacher and leader of the Catholic Athletes for Christ program in Donovan Catholic High School, was struck most by Pope Francis’ message during his homily. “The Pope’s emphasis on the family is so fundamentally said. Such simple terms make the words so much more powerful.” “Everything is in the family, it’s the sanctity of life, respect for each other, honoring mother and father and taking care of the individual selves – of the

David Karas photo

S2 •


P hiladelphia


One Bread, One Body, 300,000 Communion hosts By Patrick T. Brown Associate Editor It was one of the largest open-air Masses in the history of the United States. For a handful of priests from the Diocese of Trenton who concelebrated Mass with the Holy Father, the immense scale – and the personal encounters – will be memories of a lifetime. “It was incredible,” said Father Daniel Swift, pastor of St. Mary of the Lakes in Medford. “During the Mass, from where we were, we couldn’t see the crowds…because there were two media walls on both sides for the filming.” But when the time came to distribute Holy Communion on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, “that reduced me to tears. To see all these priests that are going out into the congregation…it was very moving.” Concelebrating Mass with Pope Francis required braving long security lines and potential logistical nightmares to serve the hundreds of thousands packed onto the parkway. According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, upwards of 300,000 Communion hosts were distributed during the Mass. But Father Peter James Alindogan, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Cinnaminson, said that the crowds in Philadelphia were far from hectic or over-excited about the Pope’s celebrity status. For so many on the parkway, they had come to celebrate Mass with the Vicar of Christ, and the focus was on the Eucharist. “The crowds in each city had its own feeling,” said Father Alindogan. “I found the atmosphere in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia experience, was more peaceful, more calm and serene than in Washington or New York City.”

“When they asked for a moment of silence after Communion, it was silent,” he said. “When I felt that moment of silence, it was most humbling. That’s the message I am taking home to my parish: I was blessed. Who are we in reference to God, or to the Pope? It was humbling.” Priests from the Diocese also participated in other events as part of the Pope’s visit to the United States. Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, wrote on his blog about his experience attending the Thursday night vespers service with the Holy Father in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. “It seemed like time was suspended,” he wrote. “The hour went by so fast as we were caught up in the beautiful prayerful experience and being in prayerful solidarity with Pope Francis and everyone in this magnificent and historic Cathedral. The Pope’s reflection during the service was so powerful and touching.” For Father Swift, Sunday started with a three-and-a-half mile walk from St. Monica Parish in South Philadelphia, where he celebrated the 7 a.m. Mass in exchange for a place to stay, through Center City to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the concelebrating priests vested and had lunch. “Basically the bishops, priests and deacons had the run of the place. There was a main inside stairwell and there was a two-floor area for lunch…which was just great, because there was hundreds of men that were just enjoying each other’s fraternity.” While some had predicted chaos as close to a million descended upon Philadelphia for the Mass, “it seemed pretty LUNCH AT THE MUSEUM • Priests from the Diocese of Trenton, including Father Daniel Swift of St. Mary of the Lakes in Medford and Father Peter James Alindogan of St. Charles Borromeo in Cinnaminson, joined hundreds of brothers priests to concelebrate Mass with the Holy Father and enjoyed lunch, below, on the main staircase of the Philadelphia Museum of Art before the Mass Photos courtesy of Father Daniel Swift

THIS IS MY BODY • Priests, accompanied by assistants carrying white and yellow umbrellas, move to distribute Holy Communion at the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 27. CNS photo/Teak Phillips, St. Louis Review.

quiet,” said Father Swift. “I don’t know what a typical morning is like in South Philly on a Sunday, but to me it was no great shakes – other than that fact that there were Army men on every corner.” “I started to meet up with the other pilgrims and got to security...and happened to wait in line with a family from St. Mary’s. That was really great.” As the concelebrating priests made their way down the parkway, they were accompanied by an assistant carrying a yellow-and-white umbrella with the papal seal and the World Meeting of Families logo, marking where pilgrims could receive the Eucharist. Father Swift said the reverence, even in this midst of a large crowd, was palpable. “I was breaking my [hosts] into quarters,” he said. “People were licking their fingers to get particles out of the ciboria, and it was just moving. It was

very moving, to see people’s devotion to the Eucharist, to see that the crumb is just as good as the whole host.” Father Alindogan also found himself moved by the personal connections amid the teeming thousands that attended the Mass, noting the waves of recognition and cheers of support when local parishioners saw their parish priest distributing communion on the parkway. “I helped with the distribution of Holy Communion about 50 steps from the altar; it was good to be a part of the Mass,” he said. Afterward, “I was in the back and the tears started to flow. A few strangers standing near me were crying as well. They told me, ‘Don’t worry, Father, it’s okay to cry.’ “It was such a great experience.” Staff writer Christina Leslie assisted with the reporting of this story.

Deacon, Philly native moved by “historic event for our area” By Mary Stadnyk Associate Editor As a native Philadelphian, Deacon Frank Weber knew Pope Francis’ visit to his hometown would be special. And it was on a number of levels. “I wanted to be part of the papal celebration,” said Deacon Weber, who serves in St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Freehold, and is the advertising sales representative for The Monitor. “This is an historic event for our area.” Deacon Weber spoke of how meaningful it was to travel into the city with a number of other deacons from the diocese and gather with deacons from throughout the country in the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul where they would watch the Mass on a video screen. The deacons brought Holy Communion to the crowd who spilled beyond the Benjamin Franklin Parkway,

where the Mass was being celebrated. It was most moving, he recounted, when the deacons were bused to the basilica as a cohort and, as they made their way inside, they were met with a round of applause and cheers by the throngs of people there. “There was such a great outpouring of love by the people who were there,” he said of the people who were in a “nice, jovial mood...The people who were there wanted to be there.” Through his observations, Deacon Weber said he found the Holy Father to be “genuine” and a shepherd who is with his people. “He walks the walk and talks the talk,” he said. “He gives people things to think about. He remains true to Church doctrine and continues to teach what the Church has taught for the past 2,000 years.”



• S3

Faithful Reflections


any members of the Diocese of Trenton experienced the excitement and joy of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. These reflections, some of which have been edited for length, showcase the impact the Holy Father’s visit made, the inspiration he left us with, and the memories which will last for a lifetime.

UP CLOSE WITH THE POPE • Melinda Pennacchi Carnassale, of Sts. Francis and Clare Parish, Florence Township, snapped this photo of Pope Francis on Sept. 26 from Market Street near Independence Hall. Her friend Erin Nowak shared this photo on Instagram with the caption: ‘We were that close! Amazing and inspiring experience. Loved his speech, so glad I understand Spanish. Got a papal blessing!’ Photo courtesy of Melinda Pennacchi Carnassale

We were so very fortunate to spend two days in Philadelphia. We met several people from around the country, all wanting to see Pope Francis.

What more can we ask for? The weekend was a joyous occasion! Some traveled from the west, some from the north, all to share in the experience of seeing & hearing our Holy Father. What a blessed time we shared with friends of old and newlyacquired. What a wonderful time we shared in Philadelphia.” Misse Raylman, St. Ann Parish, Brown Mills

Memories for a Lifetime • Lyndon and Mugdha Cerejo, with their sons Roshan and Kovid, parishioners at St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square, stood in the security line for four hours to attend the papal Mass. Lyndon Cerejo photo

We were one of the lucky recipients of tickets from the event. I just want to start and say what an awesome event. We were at the right place at the right time. Someone said to quickly look over, that there was a motorcade coming through and would you know it - the Papal motorcade came through…[We were] so excited. The shouts of excitement were so loud - truly an incredible experience! It was so nice to experience these two days, to share the camaraderie of those around us as we waiting for the days’ events to unfold. We really feel energized and proud to be a Catholic!” Christine and William Parr, Incarnation-St James Parish, Ewing Hearing a Message of Religious Freedom • Father Michael McClane, pastor of St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square, stands with parishioner Andy Loh before Pope Francis’ speech at Independence Hall St. Gregory the Great photo

#DOTinPhilly by the numbers...73 unique accounts on Twitter used the hashtag, accounting for more than 200 photos, videos and posts

S4 •





• S5

MEDFORD IN PHILADELPHIA • Father Daniel Swift, pastor of St. Mary of the Lakes in Medford, smiles with St. Mary of the Lakes altar servers Matthew and Sean Felicia. Father Dan Swift photo

RIDER PRIDE • Students from Rider University, Lawrenceville, displayed their school spirit and love for Pope Francis on Sept. 27. Mary Stadnyk photo

It started as a visit to Philly to get a glimpse of the Pope. What I witnessed instead was a million or so people at peace and harmony. Just imagine - thousands of people waiting in line at the security checkpoint, and the lines inching slowly forward. It took us four hours to reach the security checkpoint which was maybe 10 or 12 blocks away. I didn’t hear people complaining around me.

‘LOVE IS OUR MISSION’ • From left to right, Pam Wilson, St. Gregory the Great in Hamilton Square; Mary Sobon, of St. Francis of Assisi in Brant Beach; Margery Lukens and Anna Rackison, both of Sts. Francis and Clare in Florence Township cheered as Pope Francis’ motorcade passed their location. Craig Pittelli photo

It was a really unique experience to be a part of all of the preparation and excitement leading up to Pope Francis coming to [The Catholic University of America] campus and it was even greater to be a part of it on the day of the Canonization Mass. I never thought that I would have had the privilege of seeing our pope at 18 years old, so it was really exciting going into my freshman year knowing that I was going to be a witness of this historical event and that I was going to be able to see Pope Francis! It was an experience unlike any other.” Samantha Jones, Saint Mary Parish, Barnegat

W E A R E FA M I LY B a by Theodore Brown naps while his mom and dad, Jessica and Patrick Brown, are interviewed by CNN during the Festival of Families Sept. 26. The Browns are members of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, and Patrick is associate editor of The Monitor. CNN screenshot

In the sea of people, I saw a man who didn’t have the ticket to go through the checkpoint return back to a barricade where he was standing and taking pictures of other people on their phones. Just because. He didn’t have to, but the joy on his face was almost the same as the joy on many of the lone travelers who were glad to have someone take a picture of them. I experienced the Ben Franklin Parkway in different languages today. So many different people, but all of them seemed content. I wanted to soak it all in. The voices of the million people singing together at mass with the Pope. Their voices resonating and uplifting spirits…

PILGRIMS ON A JOURNEY • George and Caroline Steward, and their daughters Christine Palma and Sarah Steward, of Our Lady of Good Counsel, West Trenton, make their way to Philadelphia on a SEPTA train. Photo courtesy of Sarah Steward

[While] distributing Holy Communion, I never felt so connected to all these people, the looks of joy to receive the Lord in the form of the Eucharist. I saw the hunger for Christ in their eyes, and it actually put a tear in my eye. The thought that kept resonating was “feed my people.” I was serving Christ, in the most powerful and literal form. Even though we were about a mile from the altar, there was no sense of disconnection from the Mass. The spirit was so alive that day”

As I watched television this past week and saw hundreds of thousands of people crowding to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis – people of all faiths and no faith have been welcoming Francis’ message of compassion and mercy – compassion for the marginalized, for the vulnerable, for the poor, for refuges, for immigrants, for children in the womb. As I watched streets and Cathedrals crowded with people straining to see Francis – I was touched by four things: First - how positive and almost affectionate the newscasters were. Second, how so many people were brought to tears.

Deacon Philip Craft, St Pius X Parish, Forked River

A FAMILY EXPERIENCE • Carly York, a cantor for various parishes in the Diocese, attended the Papal events with her husband, Chris, and their children. Photo courtesy

ONE CHURCH • Robyn Mickinak, of St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, shared this photo taken near the intersection of Broad and Spruce streets on Instagram under the username @birdy506c. She wrote, ‘Philadelphia was one huge Catholic Church today and I loved every minute of it! Thank you Pope Francis! Looking forward to visiting you next!’ Photo courtesy of Robyn Mickinak

Carly York

Third, how proud so many of the people being interviewed were to say they were Catholic. Fourth, that Francis does not want you and me to sit around waiting for people to walk through our Church doors. He wants us to go out to meet people on the streets and where they live. He wants us to be the merciful face of Jesus to those we meet.” Deacon Patrick Brannigan, St. James Parish, Pennington, and executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference

One of the National Guard soldier was at a post when he saw a group of nuns happily walking down the street. He called out to them, asked them to wait for him, and ran down the post to take a selfie with them, while another guard took his spot! It seemed like a day where people were just helping other people. Like the sweet stranger we met in the train just as we were about to reach our station. When she heard that we couldn’t get a decent picture of the Pope, she immediately took it upon herself to send us all pictures of the Pope which she had taken up close! Did she really have to do it? But she did, and we were overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude. Instead of catching a glimpse of the Pope in person, I returned back catching a glimpse of Hope instead. Hope in humanity.” Mugdha Cerejo, St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square

#DOTinPhilly by the numbers...76 uses of the hashtag on Facebook, including photos, videos, and posts from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

DEACONS OF THE DIOCESE • From left, Deacons Steve Scott, St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, Frank Weber, St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Freehold, and advertising sales rep for The Monitor, Vince Rinaldi, St. Mary Parish, Colts Neck, and Tom Wadolowski, St. Clement Parish, Matawan, came to Philadelphia participate in the Mass with Pope Francis. Photo courtesy of Deacon Frank Weber

PRINCETONIANS AT PRAYER • Members of the Princeton University Aquinas Institute attend the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Craig Pittelli photo

#DOTinPhilly by the numbers...52 photos publicly posted on Instagram using the hashtag during the weekend.

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VESPERS IN THE CITY • From left, Deacons Dan Sakowski, of St. Catherine of Siena, Farmingdale, Joe Gili, of St. Pius X, Forked River and Chris Chandonnet, of St. Joseph, Millstone, attended vespers with the Holy Father in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York. Joe Gili photo

When the Popemobile made its first appearance, the crowd went wild! It passed nearby but had to come back up the road directly in front of us to get to the altar. The excitement grew as he drew close again and we readied our cameras to snap a glimpse of Pope Francis. When he drove by, you could see his smile and almost feel his warmth to the people who were greeting him with such love. We returned to our spot closer to the altar and participated in the wonderful Mass - mostly watching on the television screen to be able to see detail, but occasionally stealing a glance and reminding myself that the man in green on the altar that I could see from where I was sitting was Pope Francis. It was a lovely service; beautiful music, a moving liturgy, and a wonderful homily from the Pope. At the end, he repeated his call heard so often during his trip to America: “I ask to you to pray for me” and he added a hearty, “don’t forget!” which got a lovely laugh from the crowd. It was obvious that the hundreds of thousands of people there were praying for him and would surely continue to. We were blessed with a beautiful day - perfect weather, impeccable organization from the City of Philadelphia, law enforcement and transit partners, and a well-conceived and executed event. More importantly we were blessed by the presence of this wonderful Pope, a man who is inspiring people around the world with grace, humility, and kindness - three qualities that we don’t usually find (or perhaps seek) in our political leaders. It made for a pretty awesome Sunday, in all senses that ‘awesome’ affords.”

WITNESSES TO HISTORY • From left, Sean McBride, St. Ann’s, Wildwood, Christine Adams, St. John Neumann, Mount Laurel, and Maria McBride, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown, display their tickets to see Pope Francis’ address on immigration and religious liberty at Independence Hall. Photo courtesy of the McBride family.

My wife, Jennifer, children, Aidan and Meghan enjoyed a wonderful night of awe, inspiration and blessings at the Festival of Families. [In] my video, my daughter Meghan is the one screaming “I see him!!!” We are happy parishioners from Sacred Heart, Riverton. We were given the tickets from the Diocese of Trenton, we are grateful for the gift.” Matthew Bove, Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton

Editor’s Note: The Boves’ video of Pope Francis’ arrival can be found online at www.

Sarah Steward, Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Trenton

WAITING FOR THE HOLY FATHER • Bishops and priests wait at the side of the sanctuary before the beginning of Mass with Pope Francis. Photo courtesy of Father Daniel Swift

NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT • Staff members from the Diocese of Trenton were shown on CNN’s live coverage of the papal events. CNN screenshot

#DOTinPhilly by the numbers...100 passes distributed for Indepedence Hall speech, 200 passes distributed for Festival of Families and Papal Mass



• S7

Doubly Blessed Text message leads Deacon to close encounter of the papal kind By Mary Stadnyk Associate Editor For Deacon Michael Riley, associate director of the diocesan Office of Clergy and Consecrated Life, it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Not only did he see Pope Francis up close and get some great photos, he was able to make direct eye contact with the Holy Father and receive his blessing. And, in turn, Deacon Riley was able to give the pope a blessing in return. Deacon Riley, one of 39 deacons from the Trenton Diocese and some reported 350 deacons from throughout the world present for the Sept. 27 Mass with the Holy Father in Philadelphia, was with his brothers preparing to assist in the Mass. Because of the size of the crowd, the deacons would be watching the Mass on television inside the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, then helping administer Holy Communion to the thousands of people outside of the zone reserved for ticketed attendees. While reciting the Rosary with his brothers before Mass, Deacon Riley

received a text message from his wife, Terri, who was watching the papal coverage at home. In her message, Terri remarked on how “it’s too bad that you are not going to be able to see the pope.” She also told her husband about the grotto dedicated to Mary, Undoer of Knots Grotto on temporarily display outside the Basilica. Since he had not seen the grotto, Deacon Riley, with cell phone in hand, walked the short distance to the grotto where he tied a prayer intention to the display and took pictures. As he headed back inside the Basilica, negotiating the throngs of people, a score of motorcycles began turned on to 18th Street. No sooner than Deacon Riley noticed that the first motorcycle had the papal flags affixed to its handles did he see the Popemobile, with the Holy Father in it, following behind. Deacon Riley decided to stay right where he was, about four or five feet from the middle of the street and no barriers in between, unless told to move by security, which no one did. The motorcycles slowly passed and the

AN UNEXPECTED CLOSE-UP • While visiting the grotto dedicated to Mary, Untier of Knots, Deacon Michael Riley happened to experience the arrival of Pope Francis, who had come to bless the shrine. Deacon Michael Riley photo

Popemobile stopped practically right in front of him. Pope Francis was imparting his blessing on the throng, with one blessing being given in Deacon Riley’s direction. Instinctively, Deacon Riley extended his hand and offered a blessing to the Holy Father. With that, the Holy Father stepped out of the Popemobile, walked toward

the grotto and blessed it. Admitting that it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time, a smiling Deacon Riley noted how delighted he was that he and the prayer intention he had just tied on to the grotto just moments before had received blessings from the pope. “That was really something,” Deacon Riley said, “really special.”

A mile from the altar, Deacons were close to God and His people By Christina Leslie Staff Writer Nothing makes a once-in-a-lifetime event even more impactful than sharing it with your brothers. Seven men, ordained to the permanent deaconate in 2014, journeyed together to Philadelphia Sept. 27 to participate in what proved to be a milestone in their brotherhood in ministry: the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to close the World Meeting of Families. Deacon Peter Downing of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Whiting, drove to Philadelphia early Sunday morning, accompanied by Deacons Timothy Collins of St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford; Richard Coscarelli of Ascension Parish, Bradley Beach; Richard Hobson of St. James Parish, Pennington, and Christian Knoebel of St. Monica Parish, Jackson. (Two more, Deacons Philip Craft of St. Pius X Parish, Forked River, and John Isaac, St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square, joined the group later in the day.) The men gathered in the Philadelphia Art Museum for lunch with clergy from around the nation. From there, they were bused to the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, more than a mile from the altar, where they would administer Holy Communion to the overflowing crowds. As the men, vested all in white, stepped from the shuttles, they were surprised by the show of affection and gratitude from the crowds gathered there.

PREPARED TO SERVE • Deacons Phillip Craft, Richard Coscarelli, Timothy Collins, Peter Downing, Chistian Knoebel, John Issac, and Richard Hobson of the Diocese of Trenton distributed Holy Communion outside of the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Deacon Peter Downing photo

“The people were waving and cheering and high-fiving us as we went into the Cathedral,” recalled Deacon Downing. “It was the most exciting, humbling and emotional moment all rolled into one.” Deacon Craft echoed, “Many on the buses were taken aback by the enthusiasm in the crowd. We were saying, ‘Do they know we are just deacons?’ I could feel the Holy Spirit in the crowd and true gratitude.” Deacon Hobson summarized his fellow deacons’ reaction to the warm greeting, saying, “Though we were a mile and a quarter from the Pope, I think we ended up in a better place. The

experience of the love of Christ on the streets of Philadelphia was something I totally did not expect.” The deacons viewed the Mass inside the Basilica on monitors mounted to its pillars, then were led by volunteers carrying yellow and white umbrellas out into Logan Square to begin the administration of Holy Communion to the waiting faithful. The men were moved by the intensity of faith emanating from each pilgrim who approached to receive the Body of Christ. Deacon Downing said, “There were people there who had waited four to five hours to get through security, and they were sprinting forward to receive Holy

Communion.” “The people that came up had such diversity of nationalities and ages and countries of origin. You could read so many different emotions in their eyes: some were joyful, some were sad,” recalled Deacon Isaac. “It touched my heart.” “The look on people’s faces when they realized Communion would come out that far… it was so reverent, so quiet and respectful. The love in their eyes for Christ as they came to receive his Body almost brought me to tears,” admitted Deacon Hobson. “It had such an impact. You don’t see that on a regular Sunday at the parish.” The brother deacons are eager to share what they learned during their service to the crowds with their fellow parishioners back home. Deacon Coscarelli, who plans to write a synopsis of the day for his parish’s bulletin, said, “I don’t know if words can explain the feeling of warmth, love and compassion. I am still thrilled.” He continued, “So often, we hear negatives about the Church and that youth are not involved in the Church. There were so many youth there.” Recalling the pilgrims who approached the Holy Eucharist with gratitude, Deacon Hobson noted, “If I could bring one thing back to the people, it would be to remember the privilege we have [to receive Communion] every week at Mass. Not everyone in the world can experience it.”

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P hiladelphia


Precious Gift

Pope Francis kisses baby of Toms River family By EmmaLee Italia Correspondent Therese Filachek and her family were among the 10,000 pilgrims who were able to snag tickets to Independence Mall during Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia appearance Sept. 26. Although pleased about getting tickets, Therese’s husband, Andrew, was skeptical that they would be able to get their family, including daughters Anna, 6, Catherine, 4, and Gabriella, 5 months, anywhere close to the Pope. “[Andy] is more of a realist, I’m more of an idealist,” Therese laughed. “He said, ‘Therese, we’re not going to get to see him.’ I think he didn’t want me to get my hopes up and be disappointed.” But their encounter with Pope Francis would be surprisingly up close and personal: baby Gabriella was kissed by the Pope as his popemobile passed them that Saturday. The Filacheks, members of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, waited eight hours, arriving at Independence Mall early enough that they were among the first to arrive – and were promptly approached by Philadelphia’s Fox 29 News for an interview. “My eight-year-old nephew Peter was telling them how he was named after the first Pope,” Therese said. “Before we knew it, the news was spreading on Facebook that our family was on T.V.!” The Filacheks attended a papal audience in 2014 after visiting family in Switzerland, and knew from experience that they needed to move closer to the popemobile’s route. So they opted for a spot closer to the road as the crowds grew, and spent their time visiting with

THE BLESSING OF A LIFETIME • Gabriella Filachek, 5 months, is kissed by Pope Francis on his way to Independence Hall Sept. 26. Getty Images

the other families. “We were joking to the people around us that we could use Gabriella as bait,” Therese recalled. “We said, ‘He’ll come this way if he sees we have a baby!’” As Pope Francis came closer to where the Filacheks stood, the procession slowed. One couple who also attended Therese’s alma mater, Franciscan University of Steubenville, were with their six-week-old baby; to their amazement, a security guard came over and took the child to the Pope for a kiss. “I was already crying with happiness for them, it was so sweet,” Therese said. “And then the security guard came over and took Gabriella. The Pope had this huge smile. He kissed Gabriella and looked straight at me. I was shaking and crying and laughing, I didn’t know what to say.”

People crowded around the Filachek family, asking for their email address to send them the photos and videos they took of the moment. All of them wanted a picture with Gabriella or the chance to hold the baby who was kissed by Pope Francis. “I feel blessed beyond belief,” Therese said. “I feel like I was there on behalf of so many people, praying for my parish and all the families.” The Filacheks returned to the lines for the papal Mass on Sunday, tickets in hand. The line was over six hours long; by the time the Filacheks got through, they only caught the last 15 minutes. But they chose to view the experience as a pilgrimage, and a time to connect with other families there with common purpose. “Just the experience of standing in that line, talking with everyone, recognizing people from our parish and

FILACHEK FAMILY IN PHILLY • Andrew, Therese, Anna, Catherine, and Gabriella Filachek stand outside of Independence Hall. Ken Falls photo

university – this is what it’s supposed to be about,” Therese explained. “We were passing out water and food for the kids in line, talking about how Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes… It’s about families coming together and being Christ to one another. We’re teaching our kids virtues.” Therese shared the video of Gabriella being kissed with other families awaiting the Mass, particularly those who were sad that they weren’t able to make it. She saw their faces brighten through their disappointment as they watched the blessing take place. “I see it as a sort of evangelization,” she said. Therese believes the meeting with Pope Francis was no accident. Prior to the trip, she even told Andrew and her sister-in-law that she had a dream the Pope kissed Gabriella. “It’s as if God had this planned.”

Multiple generations encounter Pope in City of Brotherly Love Seeing the Pope in America seems to have become a McBride family tradition. Mary Elizabeth and John McBride, parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Maple Shade, began the tradition in 1979 when Pope John Paul II visited Philadelphia. On that historic occasion, the McBrides attended the Papal Mass; John saw the Pope at the Philadelphia Art Museum after completeing his route as a postal worker. Two generations later, the McBrides are at it again. Gerald McBride, son of Mary Elizabeth and John, and parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown, headed for Independence Mall on Sept. 27 to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis, along with his daughter, Maria; son, Sean, member of St. Ann Parish, Wildwood; and niece, Christine Adams, member of St. John Neumann Parish, Mount Laurel.

A GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST • Mary Elizabeth and John McBride, of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Maple Shade are shown waiting for Pope John Paul II’s Papal Mass in Philadelphia in 1979. Photos courtesy Margaret McBride

A FAMILY TRADITION • Gerald McBride, one of seven children of John and Mary Elizabeth McBride, and three of their grandchildren attended last week’s Philadelphia festivities.