Chuck Keating was leading the Bishop Shanahan high school band to play for the Pope as he headed away from the Philadelphia airport. Chuck’s whole family, including his son, Michael, was on the tarmac to watch him. Michael has cerebral palsy and is severely disabled. He was in a wheelchair.
Then, the Pope’s car stopped. The Pope alighted from the car and walked towards Michael. The Pope then kissed and blessed Michael.
Even though Michael’s mother, Kristin Keating, did not understand what the Pope said (he probably spoke Italian or Latin…), she understood the emotion – Love.
“His hands were so soft. When he kissed my son, it was wonderful,” she said. “I know it’s life-changing for our family.”
Chuck Keating, the boy’s father, said, “I had to turn away. It was just overwhelming.”
I teared watching the video of the encounter. I don’t know why.
While I am not Catholic, I have immense respect for Pope Francis. I hope that some day, I will be as compassionate as he is and radiate as much love as him.