Yesterday, we had the great honor of meeting the Bishop of Rome, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Servant of the Servants of God – Pope Francis. We were large group of seminarians, so he said (in Spanish) “When people tell me there is a vocations crisis in America, I don’t believe them!” He followed that up with “Keep your sense of humor, pray the rosary, and stay close to the Madonna,” and gave us all rosaries. It was a great experience to meet this very human and humble man who leads the universal church.
We had this opportunity thanks to the providential coinciding of our seminary visit to Rome and the “ad limina” visit of the upper-midwestern Catholic province. The province consists of the dioceses of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Every 5-7 years, every bishop in the world meets with the Pope to give an update on the state of affairs in his diocese. We seminarians present in Rome were able to sneak into the first half of the meeting before things got down to business. A group of Catholic young adults from the Archdiocese is also travelling with the bishops experiencing Rome – you can follow their blog at thecatholicspirit.com!