A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

My Photo
Location: Virginia, United States

Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Children Make-A-(Catholic)-Wish

"On the lips of children and infants you have found perfect praise"(Psalm 8)

I'm supposed to be doing a research project on Disney's partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but I couldn't help browsing some of the other wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation's website. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-for-profit that aims to make the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses come true. The most common wish requests are meeting a movie star or a trip to DisneyWorld. However, some very spiritually-minded children decided to make an extraordinary wish- to meet the Pope!

I found this "wish story" particularly inspiring:

Four-year-old Brendan is fighting a life-threatening illness. After he was referred to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the organization's volunteers asked Brendan his greatest wish. It didn't surprise Brendan's parents that he wished to meet the pope. Brendan's parents said that their son keeps a photograph of the pope in his room and loves to pray to him. Recently, the Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfilled Brendan¹s wish when he flew with his family to Italy.

Brendan and his family had a wonderful time in Rome. The highlight of the trip was when Brendan and his family attended a mass celebrated by the pope at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer residence outside of Rome.

Brendan, his parents and brother Joseph and sister Mollie dressed in their Sunday best. They arrived at Castel Gandolfo well ahead of time and joined about 20 people in the pope's private chapel. "The pope came out and said mass," Brendan's mother recalled. "It was very simple, just like our parish priest." Afterward, they were led to an a room, where they were seated in U-fashion around a chair, waiting for the 81-year-old pontiff. "As soon as the pope came in, Brendan took off and stood right by his side," his mother said. "The whole time, while the pope was greeting the other people, Brendan stood by him with his hand on his arm. He couldn't take his eyes off him. It was very beautiful."

As he greeted the others, the pope would wink at Brendan and pat him on the head. Then it was the Brendan's family's turn, and they had their picture taken with him before returning to their seats with Brendan. The pope gave everyone his blessing, then rose and began walking slowly from the room. Just as he reached the door, Brendan ran towards the frail pontiff. "Bye, Pope," he cried out. The pope turned around and walked back to where Brendan stood. Smiling, he leaned over and shook his hand and the Vatican photographer took another photograph. "It was really a special moment," said his mother, her voice still filled with wonder. "You could see that they just loved each other."

As they left, the family realized that they'd witnessed something special. "I think everybody felt that it was Brendan¹s moment," his mother said. "The kids said, 'Yeah, you know, the pope really loves Brendan.'"

Brendan's family stayed in Rome for 10 days. They toured the Vatican, ate gelato at a sidewalk cafe on the Piazza Navona and visited a lot of churches.

Brendan's meeting with the pope was a true wish come true!

Here is the story of another little boy, Dominic, wishing to meet the Holy Father. Little Dominic's patron Saint would certainly be proud! :

When a children indicates that their wishes involve meeting a celebrity, it is not uncommon to find that they have a favorite musical star, actor, or animated character in mind. But 8-year-old Dominic was thinking on a much deeper plane. He wanted to meet the Pope.

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Eastern North Carolina, Dominic, along with his mom, dad, and little brother Vincent, traveled to Vatican City, Rome, for the adventure of a lifetime. Upon arriving, Dominic asked, "Where is the Pope? Where is the Pope mobile?"

While in Rome, Dominic and his family visited many historical sites, including St. Peter's Basilica constructed by Michelangelo, the Pantheon temple, Sistine Chapel and Trevi Fountain. But the highlight of Dominic's trip was when he met the Pope in person at the Vatican. He spent time talking with the Pope and even received a special blessing. His family was given a private tour of the Vatican museum and was invited to a gathering at the private residence of the United States ambassador, who presented Dominic and his brother with books on ancient Rome.

For this wish kid, the Eternal City provided eternal memories.


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>