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Amy and Gail Christensen wrote:

Hi, guys —

I caught the latter part of the Pope's funeral, just when they were starting the Litany of the Saints. It brought back a lot of memories growing up. I am one of ten kids.

  • We went to Catholic school for 12 years
  • Confession every Saturday night
  • Attended every St. Joseph potluck dinner with my family, and
  • My patron saint is St. Teresa of Avila.

  • Can I tell you how many times during the Stations of the Cross, religion class or Confirmation practice that I promised myself that I would try and meet the Pope one day before I died?

Well, I was seven or nine then.  Now I am 47 and that "someday" is now! My sister and I are planning a trip to Europe, leaving on Thanksgiving Day, and our first stop will be Rome, Italy and specifically the Vatican where we plan to attend Sunday Mass. I am not a dignitary, a vice president or a newlywed. My sister and I are two very nice girls from Los Angeles, California, and my parents made tremendous sacrifices to put ten kids through Catholic school, not to mention my mother actually giving birth to ten children. We are just two of his "flock", and we represent hundreds of millions of kids who grew up "Catholic", and heard a lot about this man who was pretty much right next to God.

To most of us, meeting the Pope is about as possible as getting to Mars. I want to at least try and make it a reality. It is important for me personally, at this stage of my life, because the Pope is a real flesh and blood man, a human being and not this far away deity that only exists in pictures, prayer books and the news. I think he would love to meet me as well, so I can tell him about my Mom and Dad and how dedicated they were to their Faith and their ten kids, and how blessed I was to have them for my parents. Just one of the "flock" who are out there in this huge world, trying every day to keep that "Devil fellow" as far away as possible, to be compassionate, turn the other cheek (when what you really want to do is punch that cheek), and maintain the good will that was forged by my parents and my very cool ten brothers and sisters.

  • What would be the most realistic and respectful step by step process to make this happen?

If I start now, with your help, and I am pinching myself because I am standing (or kneeling) in front of him, I will promise to share the experience with you and your readers, and get pictures!!

Back to the Pope's funeral. All I can say is I wish I could have met him too. He certainly left this world a better place than when he came into it and he traveled constantly so he could meet us!!

I just thought I would save our new Pope a trip to Los Angeles.

I thank you for your time.

Amy and Gail Christensen
P.S. We will be in Rome November 25, 26, 27 and 28.

  { What would be the most realistic and respectful process if we wanted to meet the Pope? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Amy and Gail,

Ask at your local bishop's office (chancery) or you can start with your pastor.

It is not difficult to get tickets to Papal audiences. The Masses I don't know, but people at the chancery know the ropes.

Happy Travels!

Mary Ann

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