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The last full week of September felt like our entire country had an encounter with a saint. People I met who were paying attention to the visit of our Holy Father were surprised by joy. Many could not explain what was happening in them as they watched Pope Francis on TV or waved at him from a crowd.
The Catholic Spirit asked pilgrims from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis who encountered Pope Francis during his apostolic journey in the U.S. to reflect on the meaning of his visit. The following are a section of their responses. The responses were edited for length and clarity.
As a guest of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Tim Marx, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, was seated in the gallery of the Capitol Sept. 24 to hear Pope Francis address a joint meeting of Congress. Marx said he’s bringing inspiration and affirmation from the pontiff home to Minnesota.
I need an answer. Our son had been suffering from clinical depression since he was 4 years old. All of the doctors and all of the medications we tried over the years seemed to do little to help. One year ago, his own son died in an auto accident at the age of 24, and that seemed to be more than our son could handle; at age 50, he took his own life.
Human remains have been found that are 50,000 years old. But Christ came to earth only 2,000 years ago. Are all those “pagan” people before Jesus now in purgatory? And why did he wait so long to come?