I don’t have very much time to write, but as you may know my family and I have been abroad for the last couple of weeks and are currently in the Eternal City.

The highlight of the trip thus far was the papal audience on Wednesday, where we had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis himself!

It was a brief but warm encounter. Given the language barrier, not many words were exchanged, but he greeted each of us and we introduced ourselves. My daughters Elizabeth and Lucy both put their (limited) Spanish skills to the test, with Elizabeth saying “Hola,” and little Lucy immediately following with “Adios.” Pope Francis chuckled, repeated “Adios,” and tapped her on the cheek.

Oh — and someone else we know was there. Sitting several rows in front of us was our own Melinda Ribnek, who befriended a curial official who helped her bypass the long line and got her a seat close to the front. She had her own one-on-one encounter with the pope and a blessing. I snapped this pictures from behind.

There is much more to tell, and I promise to flesh out the details a little more. I am about to meet the prominent scholars (and WPI contributors) Rodrigo Guerra and Massimo Borghesi for lunch and I don’t want to be late!

Thanks to Rachel Amiri and Malcolm Schluenderfritz for filling in admirably in my absence. God bless you and know I am praying for you.

Images: Mike Lewis and Vatican Media

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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.

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