Sorry for the late post. I’m still recovering from my weekend trip with my fellow postulants to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis. Pieces had fallen smoothly into place. A few months ago, we had managed to snag tickets to the Independence Hall speech and papal Mass. A place to stay and transportation had worked out smoothly. But taking a picture of the pontiff didn’t go smoothly for me.
Colin, Leland, Joel, Brenden, Jeremy and I met with Jeremy’s friends, who had staked out a spot outside the National Constitution Center on Saturday for the speech. The crowd roared as the pope arrived in the Popemobile. He was several yards away, but I decided to take a chance with my digital camera.
I’m still surprised how clear the picture came out. I had forgotten how good the focus on my digital camera was.
When the pope came out of Independence Hall, he seemed like a tiny white dot in the doorway. I tried again with my camera.
OK, so I got only a white dot.
Pope Francis gave the speech in Spanish. My Spanish comprehension was still basic. With everyone standing, I couldn’t see the English translation. A few days later, I read the transcript, which is an amazing speech on religious freedom.
Before the papal Mass on Sunday, I had hoped to take a better picture of the pontiff. There, he was coming up the street in front of us. I moved forward and held up my camera high. But I got nothing in the confusion with the crowd. Like Moses, who had seen the back of God, I saw the back of the Holy Father.
Meanwhile, Joel climbed up a tree and captured this video of the pope’s arrival.
Jeremy suggested standing atop the lawn chair for a better angle. He was right. I managed to take a few pictures during Mass including this one during his homily.
Again, Pope Francis spoke in Spanish. Once more, with everyone standing, I could barely see the translation. But through my camera, I saw the words “don’t hold back” on the screen. Maybe those were the words I needed that day. I had just about given up trying to figure out what he was saying when I overheard an English translation from the electronics of nearby attendees. Thus, I caught the last words of the homily, which I later read back in Boston.
I need some sleep. I’ll post follow-up entries on the trip concerning friendly faces (Oct. 5) and audio books (Oct. 12).