Pope Francis greets Fr John Brogan and imparts his blessing

It was an emotional moment at the Vatican on Sunday 19 October 2014 when Pope Francis came over to greet Fr John Brogan, the much loved Parish Priest of Kilskyre and Ballinlough.

Fr Brogan was a student at the Irish College in Rome during much of the pontificate of Pope Paul VI and it was a dream fulfilled for him to attend the Mass when Blessed Paul VI was beatified.

The Mass was celebrated in St Peter’s Square by Pope Francis, who spoke warmly and encouragingly to Fr Brogan before imparting his blessing upon the priest who has been coping with illness in recent times.

During the Mass, the Holy Father described Blessed Paul VI as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.”  Reflecting on the Gospel, Pope Francis turned to a recurring them of his pontificate – “the God of surprises”

“God is not afraid of new things!  That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways.  He renews us: he constantly makes us “new”.  A Christian who lives the Gospel is “God’s newness” in the Church and in the world.  How much God loves this “newness”!”