Over the next few days, I will be blogging some reflections on my experience during Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S. Check out “Encounter.“
I like to think about Pope Francis’s visit as one of “witness.” With his speeches, his encounters with various groups, and presence at the celebration of families, he was giving witness to belief and faith. The World Meeting of Families, the Festival of Families, and the Papal Mass were opportunities for us the people to give our own witness. It was great to have experiences of encounter, but even better to go one step further and witness.
While we waited for the papal parade to begin at the Festival of Families, we not only heard the witness of others, but had the chance to give our own. Here we are being interviewed by KYW, a local Philadelphia CBS news affiliate.
I do wish I could have answered the reporter differently and say that the experience “was a great way to start our marriage.” Because it was. Our witness is that our faith is so central to our marriage; that we are seeking holiness, and in our openness seeking enrichment, blessings, and grace. What’s really special is that everyone had a different witness–from the woman wearing her shirt to Corky and his literal pilgrimage.
We were also on CNN! Just a camera panning over the crowd, but our sign says “Newlyweds.”
The woman in the background is a lovely mom, there with her mother, her husband, and their four great kids. We got their witness as a family just by their presence, but also through conversations throughout the day. They introduced us to friends of theirs who passed by, and how we got a witness to NFP.
But the witness experiences were not limited to just us and marriage and family, but also to the crowds waiting for entry into the Papal Mass. It made me smile to hear a college-age woman giving her testimony to her friends, talking about the conversion of her heart and how she’s serving the Lord. It was a joyous thing to, well, witness!
The weekend really showed me just how many ways and opportunities there are to give witness. Being open about my faith–especially outside my “Catholic bubble”–is really hard for me. Hopefully I can follow through on call inspired by this experience to speak the Truth in love.