I’m about to take you on a retrospective journey of what it was like to be a member of the media a year ago while covering Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.
This entry will be complete with videos Catholic News Service produced chronicling the very popular pope’s trip to give you an idea of the impact he made on the people in his country along the way, beginning with this one as he took his first steps onto U.S. soil.
A year ago today I was in Philadelphia during the final days of the pope’s U.S. journey. I remember reflecting on the enormous number of details required to get us to this point in our coverage, from credentialing journalists, photographers and videographers for spots in the events of the pontiff’s grueling agenda in Washington, New York and Philadelphia, to figuring out how we were going to best tell this story to the millions of people following the trek.
My role was to coordinate CNS’s video coverage of the U.S. papal trip. My role, for the most part, kept me in the media centers of each city while our determined video journalists went out and found some spectacular visual stories to share with our audience.
Some of these videos told stories concerning the official events on the agenda, like the pope’s Sept. 23 visit to the White House,
while others captured how the pope’s presence impacted people on the street who braved massive crowds to catch a glimpse of the country’s celebrated guest of honor.
When the pope made his way to New York he was greeted by young musicians who understood the great honor bestowed on them
and his solemn prayer at ground zero, the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, made people from all backgrounds pause.
The pope melted the hearts of people around the world when he visited children at a Harlem school
and the people waiting to see the pope mobile drive through Central Park
couldn’t help expressing their enthusiasm.
One of our most viewed videos during the U.S. papal trip came while he was in Philadelphia visiting prison inmates.
Two of the most touching videos we produced during that trip also came during Pope Francis’s time in the city of brotherly love, one about an Oregon couple who made great sacrifices to bring their five children cross-country to see the Holy Father
and the other showcased the impact the pontiff’s presence at Independence Hall had on a Latino immigrant living in the U.S.
As the pope was spending his last day in the U.S., a couple of our video journalists took an opportunity to find out how local Philadelphians were celebrating the historic papal trip.
By the time the pope’s plane took off for Rome, the CNS journalists were exhausted, but it was an assignment that energized us and reminded us how privileged we are to work in this profession.
Here’s a link to see all of the English-speaking videos CNS produced during the U.S. papal trip. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcRSxXfDzTxZ-y3oJEOf6kesOhhPJdYQT