Sister Sangeeta shares the following:

Meeting Pope Francis face-to-face was a momentous experience for me. As he walked into Paul the VI Hall at the Vatican where we waited for about 35 minutes to welcome him, I thought he would stop and greet at least some people. This time he did not. I was able to get a close view but no close-up pictures!

The final day of the UISG Plenary Assembly, May 10, was held at the Vatican with Cardinal Joan Braz de Aviz celebrating the Liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica followed by an hour-long audience with Pope Francis in Paul the VI Hall.

Pope Francis’ audience with the UISG members was very warm and engaging. He walked into Paul VI Hall accompanied by Sister Carmen Sammut, President of UISG and Sister Pat Murray, UISG’s executive director, after inaugurating the 10th-anniversary Exhibition of Talita Kum, the anti-trafficking movement of UISG.

One inspiring moment was when they reached the rostrum, the Pope asked the attendants to bring a chair forward so Carmen Sammut could sit next to him. She sat there for the whole time.

During the audience, he talked with us reflecting on a series of topics including the question of the abuse of religious women, women’s diaconate, the role of women in the Church, and the possibility of an apostolic visit to South Sudan.

He thanked the religious for making many courageous choices to address the needs of the poor, taking many risks. He talked about the importance of dialogue and the willingness to read the signs of the times.

I will share more about the visit when I return. NCR has a very good article here.

Sangeeta Ayithamattam, SCN