By Deacon Raymond Moon
I was impressed by the diversity of people who were there. People from over 130 countries, it was impossible to calculate the number of languages that were being spoken. Yet during the entire week I felt that we were absolutely connected as family, as we were and are, one family in Christ.
Sunday, I had the honor to serve communion at the Papal Mass. During the short drive to the Basilica, people were waving to us probably thinking we were priests, but when we arrived we received such a welcome by the people, you would have thought we were Cardinals! Of course the ultimate moment came when Pope Francis came to the Basilica and stopped to pray at the makeshift grotto that was set up there. We were privileged to be close enough to touch him, which a brother Deacon from Las Vegas did!
The emotion that flowed through me that day will stay with me the rest of my life. To see the Pope, not once, not twice, but three times in one week? Were we in Rome? No, we were in Philadelphia, and our family from around the world were with us. We are blessed!
Deacon Raymond Moon serves at St. Frances of Rome Parish in Wildomar.