My impressions of Pope Francis especially at Gethsemane and the Western Wall.

francosi_gethsemaniOf course the excitement about the Pope’s visit was extremely high as well as the security! I was happy to go to the Church of All Nations at Gethsemane and hear him speak to the Religious Men and Women. It was a wonderful event and amazingly after two very full days in Jordan and Bethlehem, Francis looked refreshed and alert.  I think that he has the beautiful gift to be present to the moment! When he entered the church, the applause and the cheering was deafening and this went on all the while he walked up the aisle. It was such a glorious feeling to be with so many people all united in one voice – Viva La Papa!  It was a wonderful atmosphere and he was so attentive and gracious with every move. Throughout his short visit here his gestures were most meaningful and compassionate. On seeing the wall at the checkpoint at Bethlehem, he put his hand on the wall and prayed for a long time. He did the same at the Western Wall and read a prayer which he placed in the stones. Here, at the wall too his Rabbi friend, his Muslim Imam friend and they embraced. These were very moving moments! I think too that his invitation to Presidents Peres and Abbas to come to the Vatican on June 6th to pray with him for peace was an inspiration of the Holy Spirit. All in all his visit was a great success and gave many people a reason to hope and to rejoice. Hopefully much growth will occur from the seeds that Pope Francis planted during this very short visit.

Sr. Rita Kammermayer NDS