Morning with Papa – by Chris Gustafson

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Traveling from one city with walls to another, once in a lifetime is the only way I can think to describe today’s experience at the Vatican for a Papal Audience. Not only was this a major bucket list item as a catholic, but to visit one of the world’s most historic cities is something that has so far been indescribable.

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Inside Saint Peter’s Square, a facility which can hold over 80,000 individuals, you could find a massive media presence from news agencies around the world to catch a glimpse at the Catholic Church’s 266th Pope, Pope Francis.

But Francis was not the only reason for the presence of the media, as American President Donald J. Trump was making his first visit to the Vatican, and met with Pope Francis directly before Wednesday morning’s mass. The President’s visit helped disrupt the flow of normalcy in the city, with American Secret Service personnel and vehicles present throughout the area.

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Thanks to our local Bishop and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, my youngest sibling Kelleigh was presented with the opportunity to be blessed by Pope Francis, an opportunity that very few in this world’s long history can say they have been given in their life.

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Now, as exciting and breathtaking as the Vatican was in the morning, no visit to Rome would be complete without an authentic slice of pizza in one of the city’s thousands of pizza shops. I don’t want to be hyperbolic and say this was the greatest slice of pizza that I’ve had in my life, but to say otherwise may be disrespectful to the cooks at Bonci Pizzarium.

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