By Karina Taveras
I am a parishioner from Sts. Peter and Paul (SPP) in the heart of Williamsburg on South 2 Street. On Friday, September 25th, during my lunch hour I happened to check my WhatsApp chat with nuns and parishioners from SPP.
They offered tickets for the Central Park procession!
I immediately called the rectory and was able to get out of work, recruited 3 other people to go with me, and picked up the tickets. I was ecstatic to see the Pope during the Central Park procession. I was so excited to see the highest priest, His holiness and the Vicar of Christ in our great City!
When I arrived at 69th Street, the streets were barricaded, and the crowds of people were very organized. Security was tight.
After an hour-and-a-half wait on line to pass through a high security check point, the crowds were able to stand and wait behind the barricades.
People gathered, talked, took selfies, called family and friends, and patiently waited.
After awhile we heard the police sirens, motorcycles, and finally the Pope Mobile. Everyone was in awe! Everyone’s hands were raised with cell phones to capture the moment. We didn’t know where to look, at the cell phone or the procession.
The 10 seconds we were able to witness Pope Francis were peaceful and powerful! The best part of this experience was seeing so many people, from all different ethnic backgrounds and so many different places come together behind one purpose — to witness the Vicar of Christ in New York City!
By Carolina Maldonado
My experience with the visit of our Pope Francis started the first moment I realized he would be visiting so close to where I live. I felt a great desire to be a part of all the people that would welcome him in New York, and as he says: “let’s make noise”.
I was enthusiastic to be a part of that great crowd that would be welcoming him. For me to share the same faith by the same Spirit and to be of the same church made me want to be a part of this historical visit.
I asked how could we obtain tickets, but it was impossible for me to obtain tickets through my parish. I heard through the Charismatic Renewal group of my parish (Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary) that some buses were going to see him in Philadelphia.
I said: “This does not happen too often!”
So, I decided to go with the Charismatic group to have the opportunity to see him in person or simply listen to him. To me Pope Francis is an extraordinary human being who inspires and motivates me to not weaken in my faith and to be determined with my beliefs. He cultivates hope for my life and my children’s, as well as for my friends and family.
I felt great joy to see so many people gathered who shared the same interest as I had to see Pope Francis. There were a lot of people from different states and countries. We started singing, dialoging, and even took pictures and shared them with our cell phones.
This is what Pope Francis left for us: a beautiful example to follow that demonstrates that we are all the same, that there is no race, color, or social or economic level that can separate us, that we are children of one God and that we are created in his image. I am very happy that I was able to go to Philadelphia where I was able to see Pope Francis.