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March 14, 2013

Habemus Papum!

What an exciting day yesterday was! Mid-afternoon, I got a text message from John’s dad: “We have a pope!” We went right to the computer, and then the television, to see who it would be.


With Jacob by my side and Henry in my arms, we watched and waited and watched and waited. I was so excited, my skin was tingling and I almost cried. After a short while, Henry was only interested in being swaddled and taking a nap on the floor.  Jacob remained interested; somehow he seemed to have a sense of what was going on. Once Henry had his spot on the play mat, Jacob climbed into my lap.


“The pope’s comin’ out soon,” he repeated over and over. And now and then, “Jesus is comin’ out soon.” I explained that Jesus wasn’t coming out, the pope was. “The pope works for Jesus,” I told him, then giggled to myself at the oversimplification. Isn’t that how we explain Santa’s elves? This is kind of a different story.


Finally, there he was. Francis, our new Holy Father. What a friendly smile he has! Jacob and I prayed the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be with him—with Catholics around the world—and I felt a special sense of awe at this faith that has taken up residence in my heart, that is such an integral part of who I am. Being Catholic is not always easy, but yesterday, it was all worth it. It was an extra blessing to have someone so special, my little boy, to share the moment with.


After Pope Francis went back inside, Jacob conveyed a message I must have missed in the broadcast. “The pope says we goin’ to Gramma Wheese’s house.”


“The pope says we’re going to Grandma Wheese’s house?” I answered.


“Yeah. Later,” Jacob said.


Clearly he understands that the pope has a certain authority.


Yesterday is a day I think—I hope—I will always remember. Yesterday was a day I was reminded that the Church is my home, and one I am grateful to be raising my family in.

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