Year of the Priesthood – Pope Benedict XVI’s Calling to Holy Vocation

by Sister Julie Ann on July 26, 2009

Today is the first of a series of unique Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity photos to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI’s declared Year of the Priesthood. How fitting that one of the first images is our Holy Father himself.

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Sister Elizabeth Ann Miller, OSF, comments:

Before my Franciscan Pilgrimage to Assisi I had the privilege of spending a few days in Rome to visit Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora, OSF, one of our Franciscan Sisters studying there.  While there I was honored to attend a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.  The liturgy was the conferral of the Pallium by the Holy Father on the newly appointed Archbishops.  Sister  Marie Kolbe received an invitation from Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver, a former teacher of hers. 

How blessed on this first visit to the Vatican to be able to attend a Mass with the Holy Father on the great feast day of Saints Peter and Paul.  Sister Marie Kolbe, having lived in Rome, knew the best time to get in line for entrance into the Basilica, and the best place to sit in order to get a good look at Pope Benedict XVI.  We chose the last row with seats right next to the center aisle.  This is where the Holy Father enters for the Mass.  I was ready for the push of the crowd behind me as I positioned myself along the aisle barrier.  My camera was tested to make sure I would get a good picture, but I never expected what would come next.  A young boy about 10 or 11 PopeBenedict-feastPeter&Paul.JPGyears of age squeezed his way through the crowd and positioned himself right next to me.  I wondered where he came from and hoped he wouldn’t interfere with my view of the pope. As the entrance procession began I started snapping shots.  What happened next I am sure was a result of my friends’ prayers and the little boy next to me.  Pope Benedict XVI started down the aisle and walked straight to the boy next to me to shake his hand!  I was so excited to PopeBendict&Peter.JPGget a clear picture that I didn’t want to let go of the camera to shake the Holy Father’s hand.  Before I knew it he was down the aisle.  I was so happy for the young boy and myself. 

At the closing procession I was able to get pictures of Archbishop Dolan of New York, and Archbishop Miller of Vancouver.  In my final picture I was able to capture the young boy, Peter, and the Pope.  It was a memorable day for me and Peter as well. (See Flick’r photos.)

9 thoughts on “Year of the Priesthood – Pope Benedict XVI’s Calling to Holy Vocation”

  1. Thank you for posting this piece as our first celebrating the Year of the Priesthood. Sister Elizabeth Ann, how great that you got such good pictures and had an opportunity to be at a Mass with the Holy Father. The story about the boy is captivating.

  2. How fitting for a Franciscan Sister to focus on a personal encounter of our Holy Father with a young person! Sister Elizabeth Ann, thanks for documenting another Peter’s look of love.

  3. Dear Sister Elizabeth Ann:
    Neat pictures, reflection, and most of all sharing your exciting experience of the pilgrimage! This is a great way begin this year of the Priesthood! Thanks so much!

  4. Congratulations, S. Elizabeth Ann, on your wonderful pictures and write-up of your experience in Rome! What a treasure you have shared with us. Thank you very much!!

  5. Just last week, I received an e-mail from “Catholic Greetings” announcing their new set of e-cards celebrating the Year of the Priest. I’d like to pass that bit of news with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and my friends, family and co-workers with the hope that we might take a few minutes to send an e-card to the priests in our lives that have preached the Word, brought us the sacraments and witnessed to the “saving power of the Risen Lord.” Priests need and deserve our prayerful support; we need to “hold up their arms,” so to speak, as we unite our evangelization efforts to theirs.

  6. Sister Sharon Paul says:

    Sr. Elizabeth Ann, thank you for sharing your thoughts & experiences on your Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi. I’m so happy we are celebrating the YEAR OF THE PRIEST and you focused on Pope Benedict XVI as a start on this BLOG and how fitting since He is the Universal Leader of our Church. Let us pray for his holy leadership to permeate all peoples of all nations & all cultures.

  7. Sr. Helena Young says:

    Sister Elizabeth Ann I can feel your excitement! I can’t wait for you to return to Roncalli so you can share more of your experiences with all of us. Your pictures of the Pope and Peter are outstanding. In this Year of the Priest it is very appropriate to have the Pope as the first pictures to come up. Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. Robert Edmonston says:

    Does the year of the priest only refer to the ordained prieshood. All of us who are baptized are part of the common priesthood. Surely we aren’t flying over the common priesthood as if it doesn’t exist. If this is in fact what is going on why wasn’t the church more specific and say this is the year of the ordained priesthood?

  9. Robert, I tend to believe the Holy Father does indeed include the broader definition of priesthood in his own reflection on our common baptismal call every day.

    Considering the announcement of this year included mention of the “150th anniversary of the death of the saintly ‘Cure of Ars’, Jean Marie Vianney, a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ’s flock”, this year’s significance clearly includes those the Church recognizes as ordained priests. Expect ‘Year of the Priesthood’ photos on this blog to reflect that definition of priesthood. This in no way minimizes the common priesthood of the baptised. A Franciscanized World is all about reverence for all of creation.

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