Father Joseph V. Corpora, CSC | May 7, 2018
Sunday, April 8, 2018, the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)
Sometime last fall, I received an email from the Vatican informing me that Pope Francis wished to meet with all the Missionaries of Mercy from April 8 to 11 in Rome. From the email, I knew the world had changed forever: In order to register, I had to fill out a Google Form. When you get Google Forms from the Vatican, you know that things have changed!
Our first day began with the Missionaries of Mercy concelebrating Mass with the Holy Father at St. Peter’s, up on the esplanade outside the Basilica. That’s the first time that I’ve been that close to the action! As is always the case, Pope Francis gave a great homily. He spoke of the central role of mercy in the life of the Church and in each person’s life and harkened back to Thomas, saying that, when Thomas put his fingers into the wounds of Jesus, he received the mercy of God. At the end of the Mass the Holy Father thanked the Missionaries of Mercy for their service to the Church and to the People of God.
After Mass I met up with Father Tony, a priest Cardinal Joe Tobin, CSsR, cardinal archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, had introduced me to via email, for a tour of the Vatican.
Tony took me everywhere — to the cupola, to the tombs of the popes, and more. We were walking from the cupola when I saw a simple Ford car parked at the top of a staircase. Tony identified it: “That’s the Holy Father’s car.” We waited for a few moments thinking that the Holy Father would come up a staircase and get in the car, but alas, his driver showed up alone. The pope had decided to walk back to where he lives, so the driver had arrived to move the car. Dang. How amazing would that have been? Just Pope Francis, his driver, Tony and me.