Pope Francis had hardly taken to the streets of Washington, D.C., when the pictures and stories started coming in. This Pontiff is never one to remain in his car or even the pope-mobile, and certainly did not disappoint as he filtered into the crowds to touch hands, kiss youngsters and make a connection with everyone he came in contact with. Whether saying Mass, giving a speech, leading a prayer service or simply waving to the crowds en route to his next appearance, Pope Francis’ message and projection of peace seemed to transform all who experienced his presence.
With cameras and cell phones at the ready, some very special moments were captured of this historic visit and how it brought so many people together. It didn't matter if it was attending Mass with tens of thousands of others, or if lucky enough to get a handshake and some facetime with our Jesuit Pontiff, the images and experiences are ones that will last a lifetime. The banner at the top of this page was taken by C-Y Kao, a second year novice who got some great shots while inside the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
One common request that Pope Francis asked in public, as well as individually to those he met, was for all of us to pray for him and his work. His inspirational visit through the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus was truly an answer to our own prayers. Now that this memorable event is in the past, we will honor his request and pray that his message of peace, forgiveness and acceptance continue to take hold and make a difference in America and around the world.
Fr. Mark Horak, SJ, Pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Washington meets Pope Francis. The two even conversed in Spanish together.
Jesuit novices gather together inside the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to see the pope before the outside Mass. Pope Francis had designated 2015 as the Year of Consecrated Life.
Jesuits await the pope's Mass (from left to right) Fr. Mark Horak, SJ, Fr. Kevin O'brien, SJ, Fr. James Martin, SJ, and Fr. John Peck, SJ.
Fr. Joseph Lingan, SJ, and Maryland Province Provincial, Fr. Robert Hussey, SJ, are excited for the pope's first Mass in America.
Over 300 students from more than 40 Jesuit High Schools accepted the invitation of St. Joseph's Prep to make the pilgrimage to Philadelphia and walk together to see the pope.
Fr. Chuck Frederico, SJ, proudly holds a Prep t-shirt with students who made the pilgrimage there.
Students from across the country became instant friends with a common goal - making a pilgrimage to see Pope Francis.
Not a bad place to stand. This photo was snapped by one of the students as the pope-mobile slowly rolled by.
New President of St. Joseph's University, Dr. Mark Reed, greets Pope Francis on his unscheduled stop at the university.