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A Personal Memory shared . . .

We recorded “Our Songs Give Praise” In St Theresa’s Church on Sunday, 27th February, 1994.  The following Thursday forty of the parish were to be going on pilgrimage to Rome. Father John suggested that whilst there we ask to present our sheet music folder with some of the music to the Pope and so a pack was put together of three of the hymns, along with a copy of our demonstration cassette tape.

In Rome we were given permission to present our music to the Holy Father at the Papal Audience on the following Wednesday, 9th March. We were told where to stand and that the Pope would be guided to us so we could make our presentation.

Suddenly, we were approached by several photographers who had also seemed to have been informed where the Pope was going to stop and receive presentations. They gave us their cards, and assured us that we would have photographs of the moment captured and these would be available to us within an hour of the Audience's finishing.

The above photograph is one of those taken for us, there are six in the collection. Pope John Paul stopped as was promised. He took our folder and, after a brief look, passed it to one of his aids. He listened to Father John explain about our work and took my hand, holding it throughout the introductions. He then blessed us, smiled and nodded, and continued on his way through the Auditorium. It was a privilege to meet him and a wonderful beginning to our apostolate.

If you look closely at the photograph you can see my profile (well my nose, anyway) - sandwiched between my mother (Doreen) and Father John. Unfortunately, a group of French schoolgirls started getting excited when they realised the Pope was coming towards us and they totally lost control when he stopped - the photographers were not prepared for that event!

(Alison 1994)