Loading
Jesuit doorman surprised by Pope's phone call
By Marta Jiménez Ibáñez
Andrew Vece has been Porter at the home of the Jesuits since January 2008. Credit: Marta Jiménez Ibáñez/CNA.
Andrew Vece has been Porter at the home of the Jesuits since January 2008. Credit: Marta Jiménez Ibáñez/CNA.

.- He thought it was a joke. The young doorman at the Jesuit motherhouse in Rome never expected to receive a phone call from Pope Francis.

The Holy Father had to patiently and kindly convince the doorman who he was in order to speak with the Father General of the Jesuits to thank him for a letter the Pontiff received upon his election.

According to Father Claudio Barriga, SJ, who recounted the incident in an email to fellow Jesuits around the world, the unexpected phone call from Pope came around 10:15 a.m. Rome time on Thursday.

“The doorman answered the phone. They said it was call from St. Martha’s Residence and he heard a soft and serene voice: ‘Buon Giorno, sono il Papa Francesco, vorrei parlare con il Padre Generale (Good morning, it’s Pope Francis. I’d like to speak with the Father General).’”

“The doorman almost answered: ‘Yeah, and I’m Napoleon,’ but he resisted. Instead he replied curtly, ‘May I ask who’s calling?’ The Pope realized the young Italian man didn’t believe it was him, so he kindly repeated, ‘Seriously, it’s Pope Francis. What’s your name?’”

“Ever since the Pope’s election, our phone has been ringing every two minutes and a lot of people are calling, including a few lunatics,” Father Barriga said.

“Once the doorman realized his mistake he answered with a hesitant and nervous voice: ‘My name is Andrew.’”

“How are you, Andrew?” asked the Pope.

“Fine, pardon me, just a little bit confused.” 

The Holy Father responded, “Don’t worry, could you please connect me with the Father General? I would like to thank him for the beautiful letter he sent me.” 

“Pardon me, Your Holiness, I’ll connect you right now,” said the doorman.

“No problem. I’ll wait as long as necessary,” said Pope Francis.

The doorman handed the phone to the Father General’s private secretary, Brother Alfonso.

“Hello?” Brother Alfonso said.

“With whom am I speaking?” the Pope asked.

“It’s Alfonso, the Father General’s personal secretary,” he replied.

“It’s the Pope, I would like to speak with the Father General to thank him for the beautiful letter he sent me,” the Holy Father said.

“Sure, just a moment,” Brother Alfonso replied in amazement.

As he made his way to the office of Father Adolfo Nicolas, the Jesuit Father General, he continued his conversation.

“Holy Father, congratulations on your election! We are all happy here for your election, we are praying a lot for you,” Brother Alfonso told him.

“Praying that I keep going or that I turn back?” the Pope joked.

“That you keep going, of course,” he replied, as the Holy Father laughed.

“Stunned and bewildered, Brother Alfonso didn’t even bother to knock and simply entered the office of the Father General, who looked at him with surprise. He gave him the phone, looked at him and said: The Pope,” Father Barriga recounted.

“We don’t know the details about what happened next, but the Pope cordially thanked the Father General for his letter. The Father General said he would like to see him to greet him. The Pope said he would instruct his secretary so that they could meet as soon as possible and that somebody from the Vatican would be in touch,” Father Barriga said in his message.

Tags: Pope Francis, Jesuits


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

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
25

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Gospel
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »

Saint
Date
04/24/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Homily
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: