The Episcopal Church Bishop Suffragans are having their meeting in Rome this year. They are learning about the work of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, especially the work of St Paul’s Within the Walls, Rome. Yesterday they were greeting by Pope Francis. The Rt Rev Diane Jardine Bruce has been blogging about their experiences and posting photos on Facebook. She writes:
He came down to the bottom of the steps to meet us. I think it is because he saw I was using my cane. When he got to me, I greeted him in Spanish, gave him a Laundry Love pin and told him about this ministry — I asked him to pray for us and he asked me to pray for him. I had to do it very quickly! A suprise when I woke up this morning is that some photographer for a website which has a Facebook page — Famiglia Cristiana — who was behind us got a shot of me turning to walk away — the Pope still smiling. It is not the official Vatican photo which I will hopefully get in the next few days — but I think in my heart it is the capturing of a special moment, and I”m grateful for the photo.I cannot begin to express my feelings about this moment. Growing up as a Roman Catholic, it was always a dream to one day meet the Pope. Even as an Episcopal Bishop, I never thought I’d have this opportunity. Yet, Bishop Pierre Whalon helped make that happen. We were front row — just being that close and hearing him would have been enough. Being able to shake his hand and tell him about a ministry we do for the poor and to share that small pin with him was a great gift to me.