Pope Francis in NYC

Pope Francis came to town! I’m definitely a fan. While it’s true that at the very core he remains conservative and would be unlikely to change major  things in the Church, I do think that what he’s done so far, how he’s lived his life has been truly revolutionary. Revolutionary in the sense that he’s got people thinking and talking about what it means to be Catholic.Revolutionary in the sense that he’s got us thinking about love and service once again.

He was in NYC for a couple of days and I knew he would be at Central Park. However, this being NYC, one needed to get lottery tickets to get into Central Park to see the pope pass by. Luckily a friend had tickets to spare and we were able to go! Gates would open at 11 and the pope was expected to come at 5.We were there at 1030 but the line had snaked around 62nd. Apparently people started coming at 7 am and earlier.

Props to the City security, everything was efficient and well secured. The TSA was there and one had to go through airport levels check before going inside – metal detectors and all.  There were also snipers and secret service people around. We got a pretty good spot close to the roads. We got in at around 2pm. I brought a book just in case but it was hard to read standing under the heat. The crowd of thousands were awesome. Compared to Filipino crowds, the one at central park was more subdued although some did sing and chanted every now and then. The policemen were also very nice enough to take pictures for the crowd and chat with them when they can.

Minutes before the Pope’s arrival you could see phones and cameras getting ready to capture the perfect shot. I got really lucky with a good one. This Pope is not perfect but one cannot deny his influence and charisma and his sincere desire to change the world for the better.


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