By the time that you are reading this LOA, we will be settling into our hotel rooms in Rome. Bishop Donald Hying, 66 brave pilgrims and I will be there for the canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II. I emphasize brave because of all the predictions about the number of people who will be there. Estimates range from 3 million on up to 7 million from Holy Week to Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27.Arch Mil
Now imagine the stress on the infrastructure of the city of Milwaukee if a million people were to show up for an event: hotels jammed, restaurants filled and long waiting lines for sightseeing. In Rome, the feeling of the city will be like the World Cup, World Youth Day and a Papal Conclave all rolled into one.
Let’s add one more ingredient into the mix and that is an extremely popular Pope Francis and the clamor to be in his presence. However, we will be there not for the popular show or just to do “touristy” things but because this is a spiritual moment.
I met with the pilgrims two weeks ago and shared with them my thoughts that this would be a moment of intense spiritual favor. I told them to take with them a variety of personal intentions, confident that the two new saints would be most receptive to the needs of those who traveled to honor their canonization.