Local Teens Confirmed by Pope in Vatican City

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Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Ms. Janice Crowley

At the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, Ms. Crowley witnessed her niece’s confirmation by the Pope.

by Andrew Brennan, News Editor

Just a few months ago, Jorge Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis, becoming the 266th successor to St. Peter. Upon his instillation as Bishop of Rome, Francis became the head of state of the Vatican City, as well as the spiritual leader of over a billion Catholics worldwide. Brigid Miniter, niece of Ms. Janice Crowley of the Glen Rock High School Attendance office, received the sacrament of Confirmation in a mass lead by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s square in Rome.

Brigid, as well as another teenager from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Ridgewood, were selected as two of the forty-four people across the globe to be invited to Rome to be confirmed. In February, Fr. Ron Rozniak of Mount Carmel was asked to select two candidates from a confirmation class of 226 to be confirmed by the Pope, and one of the names he drew happened to be Brigid, the niece of Ms. Crowley.

Ms. Crowley said it was “emotional and incredible to be in Rome,” where she had never been, to watch her niece be confirmed. At the mass, which over 100,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s square to watch, there were candidates from 22 countries being confirmed, from Kenya to Ireland, and whose ages ranged from 11 to 55. Brigid described her last-minute-anxiety before meeting the pope, saying she was fine “until the moment right before I got anointed.” Brigid, however, had also picked Francis as her confirmation name before the conclave elected Pope Francis and felt relieved because of his kindness and warm smile.

In addition to attending the confirmation, the Crowley and Miniter families were able to explore the “eternal city,” by visiting landmarks such as the Coliseum, the Forum, the Vatican Museum, and the catacombs. Ms. Crowley was most impressed by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, which she described as “breathtaking.” Of course, no trip to Rome would be complete without authentic Italian cuisine, which included a celebratory dinner the Crowley’s and Miniter’s had for Brigid on their last night in Rome.

It was an unforgettable experience for those who attended, as it was an opportunity to see a beautiful city and a chance for those involved to strengthen their faith.