24 May

Just now, Saturday afternoon, I was watching the live streaming of the Pope’s visit to the Jordan River. After going to the river to bless himself, Francis went into the Latin (Roman Catholic, that is) church to meet with youth, refugees and sick. All of a sudden I saw someone I knew. Last June I went to Jordan for the ordination of my friend, Sleiman. There he was, standing over the Pope’s translator, instructing him about something. Sleiman!

Sleiman 01

Father Sleiman had been appointed the Director of Youth for Jordan, so it is no surprise that he was there, but it sure surprised me to see him, so close to the action and so involved in the action.

Here he has moved over next to the Pope. He seemed to be a master of ceremonies, of sorts. I must tell him that I saw him at one point twiddle his thumbs on those properly folded hands.

Sleiman 02

After an accident survivor told her story, volunteers were preparing to lift her entire wheelchair to get her up on the stage to greet the Holy Father. Francis would have none of that. He sprung out of his chair, with a motion that said, “I am coming down to her.” My buddy Sleiman accompanies him, with that classic, killer smile on his face.

Sleiman 03

When it came time for Francis to bless the people with the water of the Jordan, look who is holding the clay pot of river, baptismal water – Sleiman!

Sleiman 04

And whose arm does the Pope grab when he needs balance on his way down the steps. Sleiman’s arm! Notice the look on Sleiman’s face, “You’re okay, Francis. You got me right here by you.”


3 Responses to “Sleiman!”

  1. gailf May 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    That’s fantastic!!!!

  2. Cathy O'Toole May 24, 2014 at 6:36 pm #


  3. suenitz May 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    Father Rob i just love all your posts. I can just feel your joy at seeing your friend with our Pope Francis. I am sure your example of Faith , Hope and Love had a tremendous effect on this young man.

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