PC Students and Papa Francesco

PC Students and Papa Francesco

Posted by: on March 3, 2016   |Comments (0)|Theology classes in Rome

 “The papal audience was truly an unforgettable experience. Seeing Pope Francis up close and in person will surely be one of the best highlights of my semester abroad.” Brian Kossmann

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Last week the P.C. in Rome program attended a Wednesday Papal Audience with Pope Francis. Each semester I register  Providence College in Rome as an official pilgrimage group so that we are recognized at the Audience we attend.  And so we were thrilled to hear “Providence College” formally welcomed during the introduction when various pilgrim groups and visiting dignitaries were introduced at the beginning of the Audience. Go Friars!

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“The papal audience was incredible as it was an opportunity to see thousands of people come together in support of Papa Francesco, but more importantly in support of the Catholic Church as a whole. Also hearing them give PC a shoutout was really cool, especially being in the audience with my Dad, a former friar!” Lacey Sullivan

“Hearing the English announcer greet Providence College was such an exciting moment. I have to say, I truly felt blessed after today’s experience. As I left St. Peter’s Square, I once again reminded myself how lucky I am to be involved in this once in a life time adventure.”  Gianna Luciano

 

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The Audience consists of prayers, Bible readings, a short talk by the Pope, and then greetings and blessings to all who are present, in several languages.  At the final Blessing, the Pope also blesses any medals, rosaries, or other mementos that those present have brought for his Blessing.

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 Pope Francis has recently been using his talks at the weekly audience to offer some catechesis on the mercy of God.  The talk he gave to us was about wealth, power, and mercy.  The Pope contrasted the worldly use of power with the power of God’s forgiveness and love.  In the face of so many grave injustices in the world, the Pope exhorted us to consider the example of Jesus whose power is service. Should a Christian lose this dimension of service, power can transform into arrogance and become domination and oppression.

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 “I was so glad for the opportunity to finally see Pope Francis in person. Even from a distance I could see that all that was said about his faith, humility, and Christian nature was true.” Bryan Blum

“I didn’t have any expectations going into the audience but when the pope mobile drove past me my hands and legs started shaking and I was able to feel the significance of what I was experiencing. Overall I loved the papal audience and can’t wait to go again when my parents are in town.” Abby Chave

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Attending a Wednesday Audience is a very unique experience.  Although open to all, you do need a ticket if you want a seat.  Tickets are free, but you must show up very early to get inside the Square since it’s open seating.  The Audience begins with the Pope riding in his “Popemobile” around the Square to be close to the people.  Pope Francis has the custom of making several passes through the Square so that as many people as possible can see him up close.

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 “Seeing so many people from diverse cultures and backgrounds come together as Catholics to pray with the Pope was surreal. It really showed me the sheer strength of the Catholic faith,  and the vast amount of people the religion encapsulates.” Matt Griffin

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“I thought this was truly an incredible experience and one that I am thankful I got to be apart of.  Seeing people come from all over the world to witness Pope Francis ride around in his Popemobile, kiss young children, and wave to others, and then give a short homily was something I will always remember.” Marco Scozzari

“Papa Francesco waving at me was the closest I’ll get to my 5 minutes of fame and I’m calling that a success.” Caragh Corcoran

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“Seeing the pope and the environment he created was amazing. Seeing all walks of life gather in one place to support the pope and catholic religion was majestic.” Griffin Colpitts

“Watching people from so many different backgrounds come together at the Papal Audience to hear the same message was a uniting experience unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It proved to me that despite our cultural differences we truly are all one as children of God.” Mattie Matarazzo

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 Go Friars!

 “The papal audience was truly an unforgettable experience. Seeing Pope Francis up close and in person will surely be one... MORE

PC Friars and the Papal Audience

Posted by: on October 28, 2015   |Comments (0)|Theology classes in Rome
“Seeing the pope was a heartwarming experience that made me feel blessed to be a Catholic”. Claire Beatty
“Seeing Pope Francesco was an experience I would not trade for the world. I was honored to be a part of it, and to represent the Providence College Friars there as well!” Mackenzie Griffin
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 Last week the P.C. in Rome program attended a Wednesday Papal Audience with Pope Francis. Each semester I register  Providence College in Rome as an official pilgrimage group so that we are recognized at the Audience we attend.  And so we were thrilled to hear “Providence College” formally welcomed during the introduction when various pilgrim groups and visiting dignitaries were introduced at the beginning of the Audience. Go Friars!
“Besides being just a few feet away from Pope Francis, the best part of the Papal Audience was when Providence College was given a shout out in front of the whole audience.” Victoria Strain
“I feel so lucky that I am able to study in the heart of the church and have the ability to walk out my door and listen to Pope Francis speak.” Catherine Crotty
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The Audience consists of prayers, Bible readings, a short talk by the Pope, and then greetings and blessings to all who are present, in several languages.  At the final Blessing, the Pope also blesses any medals, rosaries, or other mementos that those present have brought for his Blessing.
“I am so grateful for being able to experience the Pope in person and to be able to share it with my fellow Friars. I can’t wait to bring back gifts to my family members that were blessed by him.”  Kendall Connor
 Pope Francis has recently been using his talks at the weekly audience to offer some catechesis on marriage and the family.  The talk he gave to us was about how our freedom is shaped and sustained by our fidelity to the choices and commitments we make throughout life. Fidelity grows through our daily efforts to keep our word; indeed, fidelity to our promises is a supreme expression of our dignity as human beings.
“Listening  and seeing Pope Francesco was inspiring, magical, and interesting! This event tells me what it means to have the Catholic faith in my life and how important it is.” Elizabeth Kirby
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Attending a Wednesday Audience is a very unique experience.  Although open to all, you do need a ticket if you want a seat.  Tickets are free, but you must show up very early to get inside the Square since it’s open seating.  The Audience begins with the Pope riding in his “Popemobile” around the Square to be close to the people.  Pope Francis has the custom of making several passes through the Square so that as many people as possible can see him up close.
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 “The simplest word that could describe my experience at the Papal Audience is joy. Not only the immeasurable amount of joy I felt to be in the presence of the Holy Father, but seeing the joy on his face while welcoming people to the audience was equally as rewarding.” Lauren Ioli
“I found it very heart-touching when people handed their babies to the Pope for him to kiss/bless.” Jackie Gray
“Wednesday morning was unlike any other experience I’ve had abroad and one of the most memorable moments of my life… Seeing the Pope was by far the best moment I’ve had in Rome. I can truly say I feel blessed, literally.” Carly Tovell
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 “Papa Francesco’s smile and overall presence warmed my heart. Waking up at 7:00 am today was definitely worth it!” Jillian Giorgio
“Pope Francis has a very noticeable air about him that exudes love and acceptance and being able to share that love with my fellow Friars made it even more memorable.” Claire O’Connor
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 “…going to the Papal Audience has also taught me about the responsibility I should have towards my faith. Seeing so many others turn out to see the Pope revealed to me a sense of unity within the Christian community, and exemplified the importance of discipleship.” Darragh Quinn
“Everyone gathered there, from all across the world, seemed to come together in faith.” Sierra Loya
“Getting the chance to attend a papal audience was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had here!” Abby Shelley
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Go Friars!

“Seeing the pope was a heartwarming experience that made me feel blessed to be a Catholic”. Claire Beatty “Seeing Pope... MORE

From Cunningham Square to St. Peter’s Square

Posted by: on April 8, 2015   |Comments (0)|Study Abroad

“Seeing Pope Francis in such close proximity today at the Papal Audience has been one of the most exciting experiences during my semester abroad so far. The media always speaks about his compassion, and you could really see that today as he took the time to greet visitors from all over the world during his ride in the pope mobile around St. Peter’s Square.” – Kathleen McGinty

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Recently the P.C. in Rome program attended a Wednesday Papal Audience.  There were close to 40,000 people on hand to see Pope Francis, who was celebrating the two year anniversary of his election.  Each semester I register  Providence College in Rome as an official pilgrimage group so that we are recognized at the Audience we attend.  And so we were thrilled to hear “Providence College” formally welcomed during the introduction when various pilgrim groups and visiting dignitaries were introduced at the beginning of the Audience.

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“I really enjoyed my time at the Papal Audience yesterday morning. I thought the coolest part about it was all the babies that would be passed from hand to hand through the body guards so he would kiss them on the head and bless them. I really liked him driving by. It was unreal how close we were to him! I also thought it was interesting how everything was repeated so many different times by all the different languages. And it was also really cool to hear PC announced!” -Emily Rose

Attending a Wednesday Audience is a very unique experience.  Although open to all, you do need a ticket if you want a seat.  Tickets are free, but you must show up very early to get inside the Square since it’s open seating.  The Audience begins with the Pope riding in his “Popemobile” around the Square to be close to the people.  Pope Francis has the custom of making several passes through the Square so that as many people as possible can see him up close.

“I thought the papal audience was such a great experience.  I am personally not Catholic, but being a Christian I could still appreciate and feel how powerful this experience was.  It hit me while I was there that I will probably never see the Pope this “up close and personal” again.” -Becky McGuinness

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The Audience consists of prayers, Bible readings, a short talk by the Pope, and then greetings and blessings to all who are present, in several languages.  At the final Blessing, the Pope also blesses any medals, rosaries, or other mementos that those present have brought for his Blessing.

Pope Francis has recently been using his talks at the weekly audience to offer some catechesis on the family.  The talk he gave us was about the role of grandparents and the elderly in the Christian community.  He remarked that in our culture, it is not uncommon for the elderly to be “put aside” or neglected.  He urged us to see our elders in the faith as providing a rich spiritual resource of wisdom, prayer, and even leadership.

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“What struck me most about the papal audience was the emphasis that Pope Francis put on the influence that the elderly have on the young. I, personally, have been influenced greatly by my grandparents and they have instilled in me a great sense of faith through their own. I feel it is extremely important for the elderly to properly advise the young because their advice is invaluable. Prayer, as Pope Francis said, is vital for them to understand how to do so.” – Jack Gallo

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 “The papal audience was such an amazing experience. I truthfully didn’t know what to expect before I got there. When the Pope came out in his “pope mobile” it was so wonderful to see that he went around the whole entire crowd so that he would be able to greet everyone that came out to see him, bless some of the objects people handed him, and kiss the babies that he saw in the crowd.​” – Caitlin Lehane
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 “Seeing the Pope, so close and in person, was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. Knowing that he lives so close to us and that his “house” is in our neighborhood made that experience unreal. I never thought that I would be able to be so close to the Pope before and I am so blessed that I was able to see him today!” – Kat Mahder
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GO FRIARS!

“Seeing Pope Francis in such close proximity today at the Papal Audience has been one of the most exciting experiences... MORE

P.C. and Pope Francis

Posted by: on October 13, 2014   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

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“I thought this was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in Rome thus far. Seeing the pope and hearing him speak was very exciting and truly made me proud to be a Catholic. I thought it was interesting how they had speakers from all different languages and especially liked when they announced Providence College!” Lauren Politi

“This morning was truly a morning I will never forget…” Caroline Lockyer

“The papal audience was one of my greatest experiences of studying abroad so far. To have all of these people here to pray together is just truly amazing. Papa Francesco rocks!” Matt Matuozzi

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Last week the P.C. in Rome program went to the weekly Wednesday papal audience with Pope Francis.  I contacted Bishop Tobin’s office in Providence at the beginning of the semester for help in obtaining tickets for the students and myself.

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The crowd numbered over 50,000 according to the Vatican news later that day.  We were thrilled to hear “Providence College” formally welcomed during the introduction when various pilgrim groups and visiting dignitaries were introduced at the beginning of the Audience. (Thanks Bishop Tobin!)  Go Friars!
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We gave the Pope a Providence College baseball cap as he passed by us on the “Pope mobile”.  It’s a thrill to know that it will now be part of the papal archive of gifts.
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Pope Francis has recently been using his talks at the weekly audience to offer some catechesis on the Church.  The talk he gave to us was about ecumenism and relationships with other Christians. He urged that Catholics realize that all Christians are on a journey together, towards full unity, in spite of our historic and theological differences. He asked us to pray for Christian unity, while adhering to the truth, on the way to reconciliation and communion.
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 I asked the students to share their photos and their impressions of the experience.
 “I loved the papal audience. Although I’m not very religious, I liked how pope Francis spoke about dialogue between people regardless of their backgrounds, religions, and differences. He is definitely an amazing and inspiring man for both religious and non-religious followers.” Danielle Cady
“The Pope Mobile being a Mercedes made it even cooler.” Kevin Gleason
“Being a part of an experience of people gathered from all over the world and sitting to watch and listen to the Pope was something I won’t forget.” Emily DiRenzo
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 “First of all, the ceremony was beautiful, and it was amazing to see how excited everyone got when the pope came out. His kindness is visible in his mannerisms and the comfort that he brought among that gigantic crowd… I really enjoyed the announcements and the fact that they said Providence College, hopefully the blessing spreads back to campus!” Jenna Winn
“I found the Papal Audience to be a great experience, and I am really glad that I participated in it. I am shocked at how close Pope Francis actually came to us.” Katherine Morley

“The Papal audience was so much more than I had expected! My absolute favorite part was when he was kissing and blessing the babies it was very touching.”  Camille Dottore

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“As the Pope drove past us in his “Pope mobile” I was extremely excited but also shocked because I didn’t realize that he would be that close to us. I was very impressed at the number of people at the audience. Overall, it was amazing to be at the Papal Audience and to see first hand how many people truly praise Pope Francis. This is a day I will never forget.” Devin Flood

“Seeing the pope today was something I’ll never forget, his charisma and compassion were evident just by him driving by in his pope mobile and his interaction with the crowd.  From the kids to the old Italian ladies sitting behind us, there was a lot of love for Pope Francis in St. Peters Square.” Greg Nicolai

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“I am so glad that I had the opportunity to witness the papal audience this morning, it was truly an experience I will never forget. Not only was there a great deal of excitement built up to seeing Pope Francis, but being able to witness the ceremony afterwards was great as well.” Hannah Struever

“The Papal Audience was amazing! It was so powerful and spiritual but felt like a concert at the same time, everyone saw Papa Francesco as a celebrity!” Caroline Carew

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 Go Friars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I thought this was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in Rome thus far. Seeing the pope and hearing... MORE

“Viva il Papa!” An Audience with Francis

Posted by: on March 6, 2014   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

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“Pope Francis has a truly magnetic and uplifting energy; it is truly inspiring to witness how people from all corners of the globe react to this man and what he represents!” Brittany Ricci

“Getting to participate in the papal audience this Wednesday definitely felt like a blessed experience. It was amazing to be aware of the hundreds of pilgrims that traveled from around the world and came together all in the name of God.” Nikki Mullins

 

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Last week the P.C. in Rome program went to the weekly Wednesday papal audience with Pope Francis.  I contacted Bishop Tobin’s office in Providence at the beginning of the semester for help in obtaining tickets for the students and myself.  The weather was supposed to be cold and rainy, but instead it was warm and sunny.  The students called this the “Pope Francis effect”.  The crowd numbered close to 50,000 according to the Vatican news later that day.  We were thrilled to hear “Providence College” formally welcomed during the introduction when various pilgrim groups and visiting dignitaries are introduced at the beginning of the Audience. (Thanks Bishop Tobin!)  Go Friars!
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Pope Francis has recently been using his talks at the weekly audience to offer some catechesis on the sacraments.  The talk he gave to us was about the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.  He urged that this sacrament be used for the sick, and not just the dying.  He said that in a special way the sick are in need of the experience of the presence of Jesus with them in their illness.
I asked the students to share their photos and their impressions of the experience.
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“Wow! Felt like I was at a NFL football game in America. I could not believe how many people were there to see the Pope speak, it was definitely a celebration. I thought his emphasis on the anointing of the sick was interesting, as people have said this Pope is very concerned with the less fortunate and suffering people of the world. It was definitely an experience I will remember forever and now am trying to plan a visit for my family to see Pope Francis when they come to Rome.” Nathan Rosadini
“The papal audience was an incredible experience. The reaction that Pope Francis got from the entire crowd blew my mind. It was like a soccer game with different countries waving flags and scarves each time a prayer was read in their respective languages. I’m really glad I went and if there was one thing I take away from this is that Pope Francis really is a rockstar here.” Danny DeFilippo
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“It’s pretty incredible to think that thousands of people from all around the world were gathered in one place to hear someone speak. It goes to show just how prominent Pope Francis is and how much he is respected throughout the world.” Tim Evans

 

“While attending the Papal Audience it was a powerful site to witness the love people have for Papa Francis and the immensity of their faith. When he came out into the crowd, Papa Francis’ smile was very infectious” Sophia Bolt
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“My experience at the papal audience was both exhilarating, and overwhelming. Seeing the Pope for the first time that close to me is something that I will never forget. I was taken back by the amount of people that attended, and their excitement and energy was admirable. I am so blessed to be able to say I was that close to papa Francesco!” Gianna Fournier
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“It was an amazing experience finally being able to see Papa Francesco in person after hearing so much about him! He was smiling the entire time and waving at the crowd!” Francesca Coughlin

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“Today, I attended my third papal audience of the semester and still got chills when Pope Francis passed by in his Popemobile. I witnessed a young child who was right next to me get blessed by Papa Francis and saw her parents begin to cry tears of joy.  It is incredible how one individual can inspire and touch the lives of so many people.” Sarah Wacik
“My reaction to seeing Papa Francis at the papal audience last Wednesday was one of complete awe. He was such an incredibly humble person when meeting everyone. Everytime I saw him bless a child and kiss their forehead on screen my heart just melted a little. I felt so blessed to have this amazing opportunity.” Catherine McLean
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“It was really cool to see how excited Italians get about Pope Francis, he’s like a celebrity here. There was a group of elementary school students chanting “Papa Francesco!” at the top of their lungs and it was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. It was nice to see how affectionate he was with all of the children in the audience.” Leanne Falzon
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Go Friars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  “Pope Francis has a truly magnetic and uplifting energy; it is truly inspiring to witness how people from all... MORE

Hats Off to Joe Day!

Posted by: on October 18, 2013   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

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October 16, 2013 is a day that Joe Day (’15) will never forget.  The PC in Rome Program attended the weekly Papal Audience with Pope Francis.  We were thrilled when “Providence College” was officially welcomed over the loud speakers in the list of English-speaking pilgrim groups.  But we never imagined what would come during the Pope’s drive around the Square.

Our student, Joe Day (’15), brought a zucchetto for Pope Francis (the white skull cap he wears).  Inside the hat was a note saying “Providence College loves Pope Francis”.  The Pope put it on his head and said “It’s too big!”  Then he handed the hat back to Joe. This gesture of “exchanging hats” has become popular at the Papal Audience.  So, Joe Day decided he’d like to try it.  And since we were sitting on the aisle it worked!
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Here’s how Joe described the experience:

“It is a tradition in the Church that some pilgrims bring a white zucchetto (skull cap) to present to the Pope at his audiences.  The Pope either exchanges zucchetti or places the pilgrim’s on his head for a moment before returning it.  I had heard of this custom shortly before leaving for Rome and have had the opportunity to see it performed several times.  It used to be the case that the Pope would only exchange zucchetti in private audiences.  Swaps during general audiences weren’t all that common under Benedict XVI and John Paul II, probably in part due to the use of an enclosed, bulletproof Popemobile which was used after the assassination attempt on John Paul II.  Pope Francis does not use the bulletproof Popemobile, making him more accessible to the crowds.  Because of this I mentioned to some other PC students my idea of getting a zucchetto for Papa Francesco.  On Wednesday morning we arrived at St. Peter’s at 6:00AM and waited in line until the square opened at 7:30.  We had scoped out some prime real estate in the front right section of seating by the central pathway leading from the Obelisk to the steps of the Basilica.  What we didn’t know was that the Swiss Guards were going to line that pathway with those in wheelchairs.  This acted to our advantage.  Around 9:50 Pope Francis entered the Square and drove around it, kissing babies, smiling, and waving.  Near the end, he came down the pathway in front of us.  We were all ecstatic with the excitement of being so close to our Papa.  We all leaned over the barricade as he slowing (because of the wheelchairs) drove towards us.  To be honest, I can’t really remember what happened next.  It was all such a blur filled with so much emotion, so much joy.  But according to what everyone else remembers this is what happened.  I stood on my chair reaching as far as I could with the zucchetto as I yelled, “Papa, Papa!”  As he approached us he signaled for the driver to stop.  Smiling at us he reached out, taking the zucchetto from me and brushing my hand.  Still smiling he looked down at it and the note we had placed in it, which read “Providence College Loves Papa Francesco” with our names signed beneath it.  Looking up at us he said, “Providence College” and then, always smiling” measured our zucchetto and his.  With his characteristic simplicity, he said in Italian, “Its too big.”  He then placed the zucchetto on his head for a moment, closed his eyes and said a prayer before handing it back to us with a smile and wave!  Words cannot describe what it was like to be so close to the successor of St. Peter, to touch his hand, to have him speak to me, to have him take and wear that zucchetto for a moment before returning it as a gift, blessed for us.  My hands didn’t stop shaking for hours!  I spent the rest of the audience in a dazed state of joy, cradling the zucchetto in my lap.  It was a blessing and a gift, a grace that will remain with me always: my moment with the Pope!”

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Go Friars!

 

 

October 16, 2013 is a day that Joe Day (’15) will never forget.  The PC in Rome Program attended the... MORE

The Pope Francis Effect

Posted by: on September 24, 2013   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

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Recently, we have been learning about the apostolic foundations of the Church and the New Testament.  The Gospels that we have been studying these past weeks all have their roots in the preaching of the apostles.  Their witness, oral testimonies, and martyrdoms are the earliest legacy of the Church we know today.  And studying in Rome gives us the chance to get to know the two “chief apostles”, Peter and Paul, in a special way. 

 

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One of the earliest titles for the Bishop of Rome is “the successor of Peter and Paul”.  This early title is a concrete expression of the spiritual presence of these two apostles who “founded” the Church at Rome by the word of their testimony and the shedding of their blood.  The current successor to Peter and Paul, is, of course, the beloved Pope Francis.  All sorts of attendance records at papal events have been broken through his popularity – especially among the Italians themselves.  His direct, simple, language and down-to-earth gestures and examples have inspired tens of thousands to flock to his Wednesday Audiences, Sunday Angelus, and other outdoor functions. 

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 Attending a Wednesday Audience is a very unique experience.  Although open to all, you do need a ticket if you want a seat.  Tickets are free, but you must show up very early to get inside the Square since it’s open seating.  The Audience begins with the Pope riding in his “Popemobile” around the Square to be close to the people.  Pope Francis has the custom of making several passes through the Square so that as many people as possible can see him up close.  Our P.C. delegation got up early so that they could get seats near the aisle where his Popemobile would pass. 

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 The Audience consists of prayers, Bible readings, a short talk by the Pope, and then greetings and blessings to all who are present, in several languages.  At the final Blessing, the Pope also blesses any medals, rosaries, or other mementos that those present have brought for his Blessing.  

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 Here are some their reflections and impressions:

Lauren McNulty (’15)

“It was amazing that we were able to attend the Papal Audience this week. We knew we wanted barrier seats, so we could be close to the Pope when he came around, and that we did- in addition to being in the 7th row. Seeing him and hearing what he had to say was not only relatable, but inspiring. I find it very fitting that Pope Benedict XVI declared the “Year of Faith” before he announced his retirement, and Pope Francis was definitely the right person to replace him, especially at the right time. His efforts to engage the world and welcome others back into the church have been inspirational, and hearing his words live from him make that very evident. It was amazing to see St. Peters Square packed with pilgrims, visitors, etc. to listen to him speak. The crowd was excited and lively, and it was great to see that much excitement over the Pope in person. It was truly an amazing experience.”
 
Joseph Day (’15) even delivered a letter to the Pope! 
 
 “St. Peter’s was filled with pilgrims from all over the world, all brimming with an excitement and joy that Pope Francis mirrored.  He was all smiles as he waved to the crowds and kissed innumerable babies.  We were right up against the barrier, just a few feet from him when he passed by.  He looked at us and smiled at us.  I was able to give, through a one of his guards, a letter that I’d written him.  It was a moment of so much joy for us and for everyone there.  It reminded me again of how the Church is a place of joy.”

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Dan Gagnon (’15) was impressed by the universality of the Church present:

“The Papal audience was one of the best experiences I’ve had since being in Rome. We arrived very early and got seats in the front corner of the audience so that we would be able to be close to the action. Hearing the priests translate the Pope’s speech into so many different languages was a definite reminder of how people came from so many countries just to be present there at St. Peter’s.”
 
 

Go Friars!

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      Recently, we have been learning about the apostolic foundations of the Church and the New Testament.  The... MORE

PC Friars Praying with Pope Francis for Peace

Posted by: on September 10, 2013   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

On Saturday, September 7th, Pope Francis invited the world to pray for peace.  His focus was on Syria, of course, but also included the Middle east and other places of conflict.  The day of prayer and fasting ended with a four hour prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square.  Among the estimated 100,00 participants, there was a delegation of Providence College students from the PC/ CEA Rome Study Abroad Program.

One PC student, Joseph Day (’15), was even interviewed by the international agency, Catholic News Service:

A gathering called by the pope is also more potent than a locally-organized demonstration in a city center, said Joseph Day, a student from Rehoboth, Mass., studying in Rome.

The pope is “the leader of more than 1 billion Catholics who live in all nations, including those wanting to go to war. They will have an effect on people in those countries and I hope and think they will have an effect on politicians, too,” said Day, who was sporting a grey T-shirt emblazoned with “Pope Benedict XVI” on the back — a souvenir from the retired pope’s 2008 visit to the United States.

“Prayer is very powerful, it can do all things,” he said. If God is there when just two or three people gather together in his name, then having thousands in Rome and thousands more worldwide gathering in his name “will make a very effective prayer,” he said.

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In his Homily, Pope Francis said that war is always a defeat for humanity.  Instead, he urged the path of forgiveness, dialogue, and reconciliation.

20130910-090428.jpg“May the noise of weapons cease! War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity. Let the words of Pope Paul VI resound again: “No more one against the other, no more, never! … war never again, never again war!” (Address to the United Nations, 1965). “Peace expresses itself only in peace, a peace which is not separate from the demands of justice but which is fostered by personal sacrifice, clemency, mercy and love” (World Day of Peace Message, 1975). Brothers and Sisters, forgiveness, dialogue, reconciliation – these are the words of peace, in beloved Syria, in the Middle East, in all the world! Let us pray this evening for reconciliation and peace, let us work for reconciliation and peace, and let us all become, in every place, men and women of reconciliation and peace! So may it be.” – Homily Sept. 7th.

 

 

Lauren Janik (’15) also attended the Vigil and offered these reflections :20130910-090437.jpg

“On Saturday, I joined Pope Francis, tens of thousands of people in St.
Peter’s Square, and hundreds of thousands around the would in praying for
peace, especially in Syria and the Middle East.  The peace Pope Francis
spoke of is not a fluffy happy feeling that we hope will radiate from the
square.  It is a concrete peace – one that must start in each of our hearts,
then in our families, then among those we interact with every day.  Only
then can we expect to have peace in the world.  The vigil stood as a
witness and testament to this peace, as well as another concrete way of
achieving it – through prayer. Pope Francis led us in asking Mary, Queen
of Peace, for her intercession and praying the Rosary.  He gave an
address, and then joined in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Office of
Readings, and led Benediction.”

 

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Zachary Keefe (’15) expressed his experience at the Vigil in this way:

“It was simply a wonderful occasion to hear the words of Pope Francis for peace in Syria.  Gathered in St. Peter’s Square, you gained a sense of the power of prayer and assembly for a just cause.  By the end of the Vigil, I left hoping that Syria heard our prayers and can resolve its civil war quickly and peacefully.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, September 7th, Pope Francis invited the world to pray for peace.  His focus was on Syria, of course,... MORE