Hyattsville Resident: Pope’s presence was more than enough at parade
No one cared to talk politics or religious affairs before or after the papal parade through Washington, D.C. on Sept. 23. It was a simple, respectful, and well organized gathering of people from all over the DMV area.
Like the ascending and descending cheers at a baseball game, waves of “Fran-cis-co! Fran-cis-co!” grew louder as the Pope Mobile moved along. Cell phones arose as if on command and the crowds surrounding the railings were calm and receptive to his outstretched arm, which seemed to be sending a relaxing vibe and stress free spell on everyone in his midst. Many longed for a moment of eye contact or for a turn of the head, but his presence was surprisingly more than enough. As his eminence disappeared in the distance, a craving was left among the viewers like an audience waiting for an encore, and then, he was gone.
Slowly, people dispersed. Some walked away looking up reflectively at the Washington Monument, which seemed to be the perfect backdrop to such an event — a reinforcement of some sort. Others wandered the grass of the National Mall, pondering, still moved by how Pope Francis’ simple presence could make everyone feel as if they were on the same team, despite their beliefs or walks of life.
Diane Contreras moved to Hyattsville earlier this year from California and works at Vigilante Coffee.