Click below to hear the episode:
From top left: In DC: Documentarian Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory whose video can be found at www.nationalsecurityzone.org; Channel 3 reporter Kevin Hogan and friend; Rev. Fred McKay in Union Station; in NYC: Estela B. Astacio, who got a hug from Francis, and Maria Beltran, who got a selfie (see below) and a handshake; Roderigo Monge, who did a papal station i.d. for me; and NYU student Karen Monge (no relation as far as they know); German Lutheran Brigitte; modern-day Zacchaeus saying rosary on light pole; Pope Francis waving from the now-famous Fiat; on Amtrak train to Philly: Maureen Morello; Victoria Cessna brought late father’s rosary to St. Pat’s; sign outside Philly bistro trying to tempt Pope with soup; Donna Otto and Ann Hodge, of New Jersey; the Olejniczaks, from Detroit; Carita, Paul, Julia and PJ Geib, from Philly; Jack and parents, who brought up the gifts at a Mass; security measures included welded-shut manhole covers; pious woman to my right during Mass we attended via Jumbotron; buffalo-hot-wing-eating college students to my left; cousins Julia and, from Florida, Logan; Villanova student Maeve Cavanaugh; t-shirt advice
Special thanks to David H. Goldenberg, dean of the University of Hartford’s Hillyer College for generous support of my trip, as well as to Prof. Anthony Rauche, head of the Hillyer Humanities Dept.
Thanks, too, to Leith Johnson for logistical, technical and moral support, as well as for preparing comfort food for me to come home to.
Thanks to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, for media credentials. They will hang on our Christmas tree for years to come.