There are so many amazing events and people and sights that the group of travelers from the Diocese of Charleston have a hard time deciding which ones to highlight.
The rejuvenation of spirit at daily Mass, the speakers and breakout sessions, the gathering of people from all over the world in love and friendship — it is an experience of the ages.
Bouncing from topic to topic with joyful enthusiasm, Michaela Schenkelberg pauses when she gets to Philipine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who spoke about healing the wounded heart. “That was the show-stealing moment,” she declared. “He was just a beautiful, beautiful man” whose talk elicited tears, laughter and much spontaneous applause.
Cardinal Tagle focused on how everyone is wounded in some way and we should not be afraid of the dark stories because we bring the light. Sometimes we cannot help through words, he said, but can simply be a warm presence.
“A home is not all these [material] things, but the gift of a loving presence,” he told the crowd, encouraging them to approach people with joy, love and hope.
After, Michaela and some friends ran into Cardinal Tagle on the street and had the opportunity to talk to him and take photos.
Outside the conference area, Michaela said more and more people are pouring in even as the whole city is shutting down with road closures and sections closed off in preparation for the arrival of Pope Francis tomorrow.
“The conference portion is ending, but the festival is starting soon, and the Pope will be arriving so it’s so surreal and exciting,” she said.