LEADERSHIP MEETING WITH POPE FRANCIS 2016
“I PRAY THAT THEY WILL ALL BE ONE, JUST AS YOU AND I ARE ONE—AS YOU ARE IN ME, FATHER, AND I AM IN YOU. AND MAY THEY BE IN US SO THAT THE WORLD WILL BELIEVE YOU SENT ME.” JOHN 17:21
This was John 17’s first official visit to meet and spend time with Pope Francis in his dwelling at Casa Santa Marta. The day prior to meeting Pope Francis arrangements were made by Julia Torres for J17 to tour the Vatican with the special privilege of being led by Vatican City security. While in the Sistine Chapel J17 leaders were granted the honor of going into the “Room of Tears” where each Pope at the conclusion of the Conclave to be elected, exchange their garments for Papal Attire. To say it was meaningful and impelling is insufficient.
The next morning the J17 leaders were led to a meeting room where they awaited Pope Francis and would spend nearly 3 hours asking him questions and hearing his thoughts and biblical understanding on many issues facing the Church today. Prior to the time of questions he gifted us all with a book he had written, “The Joy of the Gospel” and then we worshiped A cappella together before the time of Q & A. It was exceptionally inspirational and safe to say life changing. At the conclusion of our time together Pope Francis invited us to take ‘selfies’ with him and just enjoy his company.