This weeks photo challenge was depicting admiration for either a person or a place. After giving it a little thought I knew my choice had to be Pope Francis.
When he was elected on March 14, 2013 I had no idea who Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina was. But from the moment he stepped out onto that balcony in Vatican Square saying, “let’s always pray for ourselves, one for the other, let’s pray for the whole world, for a great brotherhood.” And, “please pray for me” I was enamored.
A beautiful spring day and, in the middle of a school break, my family and I had taken a daytrip to Downtown Dallas to see the brand new Klyde Warren Park when the announcement was made. It just so happens that the park is right down the street from Cathedral Guadalupe. As ‘pope watch’ notifications started jamming up my phone the bells at the cathedral began tolling. We left the park and went back to the church where news crews were arriving on the scene to talk to faithful Catholics in the area. As the bells kept up their ringing the church staff hung drapes to celebrate our new leadership. The excitement was palpable and intense. It was so much fun to be downtown with the bells and people – I’ll always remember that afternoon!
Last year, when he visited the U.S. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. Sitting at the doctor with my hurt son (turns out he ruptured ligaments in his foot – ouch) I watched his arrival on my phone and was hard-pressed not to jump up and down and call out updates. I came close to mortifying my 16 year-old who was terrified I would not actually be able to contain my enthusiasm.
Our church happened to be doing our annual fundraiser/carnival during the same time as his visit. We had a large cut-out of the Pope for photo ops. I may have looked for several opportunities to get my picture with ‘The Pope’.
I am a dork and I am okay with this because Pope Francis is wonderful.
He continues to encourage each of us to love and humbly serve one another. He is the living action – not just saying the words but setting the example everyday.
I admire him immensely.