The past 24-hours have gone past at a break-neck pace.
Yesterday morning I assembled with a group of clergy from around the globe at a hotel about a mile from the Vatican. Our task, to walk to a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. Needless-to-say, the energy of the group was very high.
Once we got to the Vatican, we were escorted into the back of the City State through a series of medieval roadways and never-ending arches. Finally, we arrived in a beautiful castle-like courtyard. As we waited to be ushered into the room where we would eventually meet the Pope - we were told there would be a slight delay, "as the Holy Father was meeting with the President of Austria and they were about to exit."
Rather than "run into" His Holiness and the President of Austria, we were taken up an amazing staircase to a room that was described as the bedroom of former Pope. It was a magnificent. A priceless view of the city of Rome. Shortly after arriving, the room fell silent and in walked the Holy Father. Amazing!
His Holiness spoke for a few minutes, reading from prepared remarks and adding extemporaneous elements, and then we all had an opportunity to meet with the Holy Father. Feeling a bit awkward, and thinking I would be breaking rules of decorum and respect, I decided to leave a packet of materials explaining who HBI is and specific information about our Ines Project. Roberto would have none of it. He insisted I take the packet. And, after almost all of the other guests had provided their greetings and well wishes to His Holiness, I found myself standing in front of the Holy Father. I told him what an honor it was for me to be in his presence and spoke briefly of our two plus decades of work in Perú. I then handed him the packet of materials and send thank you very much. It was awesome.
Who knows what will come of my brief meeting - but one thing is for sure, I can now honestly say that I have told the Pope about the work of HBI . . . and that isn't such a bad thing at all.
Thank you for all of your continued support - Wayne Centrone
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.