Blaze a Trail

I caught the missionary zeal of Pope Francis.

Blaze a Trail

Courtesy Christine Ferguson

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Pope Francis’ message at the canonization of Junípero Serra was clear: go forward and proclaim the joy of the Gospel.

That theme of sharing the good news was woven throughout the Mass that he celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday. It was in the woman with a cognitive disability who, proclaiming the second reading, told us to “Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me” (Philippians 4:9).

I felt the joy personally; my ticket to the Mass placed me to the left of the altar just behind the orchestra—singing with the choir, to be exact. Prior to the pope’s arrival, there was a Washingtonian air of subdued anticipation. But once he showed up, there was nothing but excitement and joy.

Pope Francis was here to canonize a Spanish missionary priest—Father Junípero Serra—as an example of forward-moving evangelization. You couldn’t miss the point. It started…

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