Meeting Pope a sign of the early Church, seminarian reflects
Pope Francis meets with seminarians from the Pontifical Roman universities on May 12, 2014 Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA
Pope Francis meets with seminarians from the Pontifical Roman universities on May 12, 2014 Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA
by Elise Harris
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Dcn. Bernard Poggi, who is among the priests and religious slated to meet with Pope Francis in Jerusalem later today, stated that seeing the successor of Peter reminds him of the first apostles.

“To have the successor of Peter in this land where Peter was and to have so many priests, religious and seminarians” present with him “is a reminder of the first Church” Dcn. Poggi told CNA May 26.

It brings hope that the Church “continues like the promise of Christ; that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

Originally from San Francisco, Cali., USA, Deacon Poggi moved to Jerusalem five years ago in order to join the seminary of the Latin Patriarchy and is among the priests and religious who will meet with Pope Francis later this evening in Jerusalem’s Church of Gethsemane, located at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

Speaking of his decision to enter the seminary, the deacon relayed that he originally felt called during his first visit to the Holy Land for a pilgrimage in 2007.

“I saw what the Church was doing in the Holy Land for the Christian community” and how they served them he recalled, so “I decided to give my life” in service to the Church.

“Now it’s a big honor to serve in the Holy Land” the deacon continued, adding that “with all of the difficulties one has to deal with because of the political situation,” you feel that “you are supporting Jesus in the Holy Land.”

“It’s a fulfilling feeling to know that you are serving the Church in this land.”

Recalling how he was present at the Roman Pontiff’s Mass yesterday in Bethlehem, Dcn. Poggi explained that it was “an honor to be with the Pope in Manger Square” and that he is greatly looking forward to tonight’s encounter at Gethsemane.

“It’s wonderful to be gathered around the Holy Father” and “encouraging” to see him experience a little of what life is like for those who live in the Holy Land, the deacon observed.

“I wish he could see what Christians live here every day” he explained, acknowledging that the Pope is doing “the best the can,” and saying that the pontiff’s brief stop yesterday to pray at the dividing wall between Israel and Palestine was “a touching moment.”

Going on, Dcn. Poggi pointed out that “living in the Holy Land is never easy” because of the ongoing tensions, stating that when “you go through check points you feel at times that people don’t want you there,” and often “they delay you,” so “you feel unwelcome.”

“But when you see the locals and see how they need you it makes it worth it” he said, adding that “difficulties never get in the way of your daily duties.”

It’s a call “to live with humility and to try to live as Jesus did.”

Revealing his expectations for his encounter with Pope Francis tonight, the deacon stated that he “expects to work toward Christian unity.”

Noting that last night’s moment of prayer between the pontiff and the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartolomeo I, was “very important because Christian unity is important,” Dcn. Poggi observed that efforts for unity are crucial because “we have the same Lord Jesus Christ but are separated because we are not in full communion.”

Pope Francis’ presence in the Holy Land is “a big sign of hope” and it brings “the prospect of peace” he stated, referencing the moment of prayer to take place between the Israeli and Palestinian presidents next month in the Vatican.

The Pope allows us “to have the prospect of peace once again” he explained. “The Pope brings the prospect of peace.”

Tags: Christian Unity, Pope Francis in Holy Land

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30