By Dave Jolivet
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 13, the 10th anniversary of Pope Francis’ election as the Holy Father, several Church leaders, cardinals, bishops, dignitaries, members of the Military Archdiocese and the Diplomatic Corps, and Catholic organization leaders gathered at the Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the occasion.
One such invitee was Beth Mahoney, principal at St. Stanislaus School in Fall River and president-elect of the National Council of Catholic Women. The invitation came from the Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Msgr. Juan Antonio Cruz Serrano, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States.
“Receiving this invitation to attend this event deeply touched my heart,” Mahoney told The Anchor. “I was humbled and grateful to have been invited to attend such an important event in the life of Pope Francis and to share this with so many dignitaries from around the world and within the United States.”
Mahoney, a long-time member of the Fall River Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and was elected president of the NCCW, was invited as its representative. She will be installed as NCCW president on August 26 in Salt Lake City.
“Being able to represent the NCCW at this event was an honor,” she continued.
The archbishop greeted Mahoney at her arrival, as he did with all the guests. Following a dinner, the archbishop spoke to the gathering.
“In Archbishop Pierre’s remarks given at the event, he reminded us of Pope Francis’ concern for the poor, for those who need our help and for those who live on the peripheries of our society,” said Mahoney. “He encouraged us to pray for Pope Francis and reminded us of his words on the balcony of St. Peter’s when he was introduced to us after his election, he stated, Pope Francis asked us to pray for him.”
Archbishop Pierre spoke about the legacy of Pope Francis first 10 years, especially his love for the poor and his decision to take the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, a champion of the poor.
“I had the opportunity to speak with many of the cardinals, bishops and dignitaries present, was able to thank our military armed forces for their services and to converse with many of the lay organizations present.
“It is so energizing to be with others who share in ministry and who are involved in similar Church related projects.
“I left desiring to stay focused on the mission of the Church and to connect with many whom I met at this event.
“I look forward to future events and to representing the members of NCCW with compassion and honor.”