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My Trip To See Pope Francis

Photo by Ms. Precious Singson
Pope Francis during his East Coast visit in the fall of 2015

Ms. Precious Singson, Guest Writer

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On September 22, I began a six-day trip to the East Coast to see Pope Francis.  I beaded through a little green rosary, entrusted to me with so much love by our students at Good Shepherd.  Yet, my mind was uncertain about what was to come out from my travels.  I had three chances to see Pope Francis –Washington DC, New York, and Philadelphia; but there were thousands of people who planned to do the pilgrimage.  It seemed impossible to receive a blessing from him.

My first stop at the National Mall was disappointing.  I barely caught a glimpse of the Pope after a difficult time passing through heavy security checks.   Two days later, I traveled to New York with a ticket to a parade in Manhattan’s Central Park.  Excitement turned to frustration when the city’s police refused to let me in because of an immense crowd already inside the parameter for the procession.

Philadelphia was my last hope.  I thought that the likelihood of seeing the Pope was very slim so I did not take any chances.  I woke up at six in the morning on September 26 and prepared myself for a long wait.  Twelve hours later, Pope Francis made his appearance at the Festival of Families.  I was filled with so much joy upon seeing him up close and all the prayers paid off.

How did this trip, with its long list of troubles, bring forth so much happiness?  It turned out that these trials opened up so many possibilities for me to see the kindness and love from many people and strangers whom I encountered. Visitors from different parts of our country gave warm greetings and exchanged stories of why they traveled to see the Pope.  Or how can I forget the New York bus driver who took his time to give me directions to Central Park?  In Philadelphia, families brought even their little ones with so much patience as they enjoyed each other’s company while waiting. The journey itself was a blessing.  Seeing the Pope was just “a cherry on top.”
When I prayed the little green rosary from Good Shepherd, I frequently thought of the Pope’s homily given at our nation’s capital.  On this mass offered for the canonization of Saint Junipero Serra, our Church’s shepherd asked us to “keep moving forward” and proclaim Christ’s Good News with joy.  The little beads of Hail Mary gave me patience through distress and the Glory Be helped me rejoice in the small acts of charity shown by travelers.  I carried our school in my heart “moving forward” to experience others in the pilgrimage.  Despite all uncertainties and trials, we can find hope and love through one another in the journey of life.

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My Trip To See Pope Francis