Tag Archives: St Peter’s

“The shaft of light breaking through the heavy clouds”: Pope Francis’s inaugural mass

Pope Francis drives through as sea of flags, cameras and smart phones ahead of his inaugural mass. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough

Pope Francis drives through a sea of cameras and smart phones ahead of his inaugural mass. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough

By Michelle Hough, communications officer with Caritas Internationalis

It’s been a week of lots of coffee, very little rest and some very bad, unhealthy food mostly eaten standing up. But it’s also been a week that I’ll tell my grandchildren about: the week Pope Francis was elected and conventional wisdom about what a Pope is supposed to be like was turned on its head.

This morning was Pope Francis’s inaugural mass in St Peter’s Square. It would have been nice to have moseyed on over there at 9am and got a seat at the front ready for the 9.30am mass, but that would have been about as likely as meeting the Pope himself (maybe not so unlikely considering the way things are going with him). So I got there at 6.30am, got a good place half way between the obelisk and St Peter’s and prepared myself for a five hour stand in a very large crowd. Continue reading

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The night when Pope Francis was elected

Pope Francis as he blesses the crowd at St Peter's Square on his election. Caritas/Patrick Nicholson

Pope Francis as he blesses the crowd at St Peter’s Square on his election. Caritas/Patrick Nicholson

By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis

If I think of St Francis, I think of sandals… and a cord belt around a rough brown tunic, a bald pate and of course, a man surrounded by birds and squirrels. My  thoughts about him had never gone further than the usual clichés that I learnt about when I was five. That was until last night… Continue reading

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Waiting for the sun…and a Pope

Michelle Hough waiting for the white smoke that hails a new Pope in St Peter's Square.

Michelle Hough waiting for the white smoke that hails a new Pope in St Peter’s Square.

By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis

It was a good day for umbrella sales people but a bad day for a Pope. As in no Pope was elected during the morning of the second day of the conclave.

No one expected a Pope to be elected so early but me and about 10,000 others huddled in St Peter’s Square in the rain waiting for the smoke to come out of the chimney.

So, about this chimney… it’s tiny. If you’re expecting something Santa could get down, think again. Even a pigeon would have trouble squeezing down there to make a home. Such a tiny thing the focus of so much attention… Continue reading

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