Monday, September 28, 2015

The choice to worship freely

I normally don't talk about religion. It's an incredibly personal experience and choice, but I had to shout my pride for the city of Philadelphia after this weekend's spectacular papal visit. Pope Francis began his East Coast tour in Washington D.C. traveling to New York and then to Philadelphia for the glorious outside mass on the Parkway in Philadelphia.

I was born and raised a Catholic. Baptized, schooled, and married in the Catholic church. My children are baptized Catholic, however, I choose a non-denominational church to worship and raise my children. My break from the Catholic tradition did not stop my love of seeing the people's pope. For me, it was a moving experience I'll never forget. I've been fortunate to see two popes in my lifetime. Seeing and hearing Pope Francis' message of love and compassion in the city of brotherly love left many a spectator, including local broadcasters, moved to tears.

Many believed Philadelphia could not deliver the magnitude of hosting such an auspicious event in its city. Philadelphia served its community and then some! With over 300,000 in attendance, people were respectful, compassionate, helpful and loving. Not only was Pope Francis' message uplifting and universal but the city of Philadelphia was as well! People from all over the world attended. Seeing those gold and white umbrellas enter the streets to administer communion to almost half a million souls was breathtaking. I had a difficult time holding back tears. Sharing the kiss of peace with strangers on the street who were united with a common goal of love and support, regardless of faith or religion, reverberated in the truest essence of yourself. People of many faiths came to hear the Pope's message. And in so doing, reminded us all of the power and freedom we have in choice.

This weekend's Festival of Families wasn't just for the Catholic faith. Regardless of your belief or faith Pope Francis' message was universal, love and take care of your family. Evil will never have the last word.

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