A spring break pilgrimage to Italy – planned months ago by the U.S. Province Office of Vocations and University of Notre Dame Campus Ministry – turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime for three seminarians and 12 young men discerning vocations.
The men, along with Vocations Director Rev. James Gallagher, C.S.C., happened to be in Rome during the papal conclave and subsequent election of Pope Francis as the Successor of Saint Peter. In fact, the group had just finished Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica when white smoke emerged from the chimney, signaling the election of a new pope.
Ironically, before returning to Rome for the beginning of the conclave, the group visited Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, the new Pope’s namesake.
You can read the entire story of the pilgrims’ trip to the Vatican on the ND Observer website.