¡Viva el Papa!  We share with you some photos and a taste of our joy at welcoming Pope Francis in Washington during his first days here in the United States.  We will shortly share more of our experience from New York and Philadelphia as his visit continues.

NOTE: Streaming video and highlights of past events (“video on demand”) are available from the USCCB website.  Beyond rereading his homilies and addresses, one can also see and hear him speak to us through the selective clips (without commentary from the secular media–just Pope Francis in his own words!)

Tuesday, September 22 – Arrival at Andrews Air Force Base
A group of our novices in Upper Marlboro, Maryland were able to greet the Holy Father as he arrived in the United States from Cuba.  Welcome, Pope Francis!

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Wednesday, September 23 – Official Welcome at the White House
One sister joined the group on the South Lawn as President Obama formally welcomed Pope Francis to our country on behalf of the American people.

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Wednesday, September 23 – Parade in Downtown Washington

Sisters from the mission in Avondale Pennsylvania gathered along the parade route to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father. They staked out a spot near a lamppost cheering loudly in Spanish “Papa Francisco, te quiere todo el mundo!” (Pope Francis, the whole world loves you!). He heard them, and turned, pointing to them and giving them a big “thumbs up”! USA Today did a quick interview with the sisters immediately following the moment.

Nuns sing and wave the flag of Argentina as they wait for the parade with Pope Francis in Washington Sept. 23.  (CNS Photo/John Beale)

Nuns sing and wave the flag of Argentina as they wait for the parade with Pope Francis in Washington Sept. 23. (CNS Photo/John Beale)

Wednesday, September 23  En Route Singing Through the Streets of Brookland to the Basilica

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Wednesday, September 23 – Special Gathering Inside the Basilica of Novices and Seminarians
SSVM novices and IVE seminarians of our Religious Family shared in the day-long vigil inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception awaiting the Holy Father’s arrival and special moment with them.  Video footage of the entrance includes scenes of the exciting brief encounter that some of them had with Pope Francis.  His warm smile showed the joy of seeing the future priests and religious of the Church!

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Wednesday, September 23 – Holy Mass and Canonization of Saint Junipero Serra
Outside, we also had large groups of sisters, seminarians and concelebrating priests.  To have a new saint from our lands is a great blessing and the time together was one of great graces. One of our sisters also sang in the papal choir!

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Thursday, September 24 Pope Francis Addresses the US Congress
After morning mass on Capitol Hill at Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian (see photo with “stand-up Francis”) the groupw moved down East Capitol STFrom outside, our sisters gathered to pray, listen, and witness history as the first Roman Pontiff in history address the Congress of our country.  Mixing with the crowd during the long wait was its own apostolate, too!

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More news soon from New York and Philadelphia!
Keep praying for the Holy Father and the fruits of his visit: both individual graces, and for the Catholic Church in America, for this nation, and for the world.  Follow on streaming video !!!