Monday, April 21, 2008

My trip to see Pope Benedict (part 1)

Due to the generosity of my bishop, I was able to attend the Youth Rally at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers NY during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the USA. This is one small part of a series of posts about my experience. Please check back for more updates.

Well I guess I'll start by saying laying out the first few hours of the day. We got up around 6 (3 am West Coast time) and cleaned up/ had some breakfast and around 7:30 we were in our cabs to head over to the Yonkers Raceway where we were to be bussed over to St. Joseph Seminary. There were already a lot of youth groups gathered. We were among the first seminarians.

We were put on the first bus and then bussed over to the beautiful campus. We got off the bus and went through the impressive security system fairly quickly. After posing for a quick group picture, I went straight down to the field. This was about 9:30am. There were two sections for seminarians. One was filling up, the other had nobody there. I, of course, went straight for the vacant one, taking the best seat in the house (well, there was one other seat that was as good, but none better).

Here is a diagram to 1) give you a better idea of where I was and 2) put my stellar paintbrush skills on display. The yellow part is the buffer zone between the crowd and the Pope (there was actually Gold carpeting laid down here. The white at the top is the stage, and the white at the bottom is the gathering space. So it was 9:30 and it was already hot. But I didn't want to give up that spot. So I stayed there. I didn't eat. I simply drank a small bottle of water that I was given. It's a good thing that I saw that episode of Man vs. Wild when he goes into the Sahara with only one canteen full of water and learned that you have to only use enough to wet your mouth, rather than drink large quantities. So thanks Man... Versus Wild.

With the Pope not due to arrive until 4:30, this was going to be at least 7 hours...

Here is a picture of me and some people hanging out before the entertainment started:More later...

3 comments:

Val said...

Loving the paint skills. You really were as close as possible. I hope you'll be posting more about Benedict after Mass!

Seminarian said...

Keep checking back. I'm hoping to get about 12-15 posts up in the next 2 or 3 days.

James K. said...

lol about the Man vs. wild... I think that show is pretty fun, and it's good to know it kept a seminarian hydrated. :)