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Sept. 21, 2015
The journey begins

Sept. 22, 2015
National shrine

Sept. 22, 2015
God's help
in getting a job

Sept. 23, 2015
Despite huge crowd,
courtesy, hospitality

Sept. 25, 2015
on St. Serra

Sept. 26, 2015
Four examples
of Catholic
Social Teaching

Sept. 27, 2015
Memories, joy
from Philadelphia

placeholder September 21, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Papal Visit • September 23, 2015

Outside the basilica with Msgr. Antonio Valdivia.

Pope Francis speaking and during Mass.

Despite huge crowd, courtesy, hospitality

Very Rev. George Mockel

Today has been both exhilarating and exhausting. The canonization Mass was scheduled to begin at 4:15. I left my hotel at 10 a.m. for the half hour Metro ride thinking I was leaving way too early. Wrong! The metro ride took about a half hour, however once out of the station a three hour wait in line was ahead of me.

Everyone had to go through very thorough security. They even looked through my wallet. And anyone who knows me, knows that my wallet is not very big.

I was very blessed to be about six rows from the altar. At times I felt the Holy Father was looking directly at me.

It is amazing how a very prayerful experience can be achieved even with so many people and details.

Congratulations to the organizers and all who volunteered. The hospitality and the courtesy were truly overwhelming. I ran into many good friends from Oakland and beyond. Much to think about and reflect upon.

But for now rest and a good night’s sleep is the order of the day!

(Father Mockel is vicar general of the Diocese of Oakland and pastor at Santa Maria Parish in Orinda.)

Father Mockel; priests from California were in evidence.

Need for cash and vendors abound.

Long lines made for a three-hour wait to get to the Mass for St. Serra.
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