[Following is a reflection from Bishop Bradley on Monday as he heads to Washington, DC]
Greetings from our Nation's Capital.
It didn't take long for it to become crystal clear how widespread the enthusiasm and excitement about Pope Francis' impending visit is! As soon as I began the checking in process at Detroit Metro Airport for my flight to Washington, one of the Delta attendants came right up to me to ask if I was going to see the Pope. When I said that I was, she grabbed my hand, gasping with excitement, and asked me to pray for her while I was in the Holy Father's presence. The next Delta representative had the very same reaction as she was helping me check my bag, and begged me to remember her special intentions, and those of her co-worker, over these days. So, Kimberly and Maria, you are definitely in my prayers!
When I arrived here in Washington, there are signs of final preparations being made everywhere as I made my way from Reagan International Airport to the Marriott where the majority of the U.S. Bishops will be staying. And the Pope's visit is the top story on every TV channel.
Even though I was here in Washington at this very same Hotel 7 years ago for the Papal Visit of Pope Benedict XVI, I have never seen this level of excitement and enthusiasm for any event before in my life. While it is dreary and drizzling today, the weather forecast for the next several days is to be bright, sunny, warm and pleasant. May God's blessings be upon Pope Francis as he concludes his pastoral visit in Cuba and prepares to travel here to Washington tomorrow afternoon. May Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Patronness of our beloved country, watch over and protect all the historic and spiritual events of the next several days here in the United States.
In Christ our Hope,
+ Bishop Bradley
A banner on the bell tower of The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception welcomes Pope Francis who will arrive on Tuesday, September 22 around 4 p.m.