Today I was able to take a few up-close pictures of Pope Benedict XVI, and I also was able to touch his hand, along with a few other St. Louis Seminarians. I have posted pictures on my Seminary Website, and I will write a little bit about this experience below.
After an early start on the day, I waited for about eight hours in different lines to enter St. Panteleon Church, to eat lunch, and to get a spot close to where Pope Benedict would be passing by. And it was all worth it—the rain, the sun and the boredom (hey, it's a pilgrimage!). As Pope Benedict passed the group of St. Louis seminarians in the courtyard, I snapped two quick shots (one's a little blurry), and reached out to touch his hand. As an added bonus, Pelé (you know, the soccer player...) walked by earlier that day and I also snapped a couple of pictures of him!
Tomorrow morning all the St. Louis youth and seminarians will attend Holy Mass with Archbishop Raymond Burke and then we will all head down to Marienfield, where the Vigil and Mass with the Pope will be held. Please pray that there will be no rain; I have learned today that rain can be quite troublesome (there was a downpour after the pope left, and my umbrella had a large rip in it). Whatever happens, I'm sure it will be quite an experience!
I don't think I'll have time to post any more blog entries or pictures after tonight unless I find some time at the Chicago airport, so you may have to wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday (the 24th) before seeing my pictures from the Vigil and Mass.