After celebrating Mass at the Basilica Saturday morning, Pope Francis went to the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary for a short break in his jam-packed schedule.
Seminarians were there to greet him with cheers and songs.
Twenty-four year-old Philip Maas was overwhelmed with joy as the pontiff stepped out of his black Fiat and greeted seminarians on the steps to the St. Charles Seminary in Wynnewood, Lower Merion.
“You’re so used to seeing him on television. It really doesn’t sink the first moment when you see him in person, but it was an amazing experience, and the overwhelming joy and excitement from the seminary community made it evident that everybody was so happy to see the Holy Father here.”
Giuseppe Esposito, who recently joined the seminary after a stint selling insurance, was blown away by his brush with Francis.
“It just instilled in me a lot of hope for the church and humanity in general.”
Espositio and a few of his priest-to-be friends actually have a rock band that covers Green Day and Mumford and Sons…but he opted not to slip any of those tracks in between the Latin hymns.
“No, no I kept it related to god, heaven and the church. Although all music, as long as it’s good, I feel participates in something heavenly. But no we didn’t do any of that,” he laughed.
As Pope Francis entered the Seminary, he greeted and blessed several children and adults with severe intellectual and physical disabilities.
Meredith Nothstein, who works at St. Edmonds Home, was there with her goddaughter, who lives there.
“And he came right up to my goddaughter, Sonny, and he put his hands on her face and I was overwhelmed and I started to cry watching her. It was just an incredible experience.”
On Sunday, seminarians will have the opportunity to greet the pontiff again before he speaks to bishops in the seminary chapel.