PHILADELPHIA (WHTM) – Imagine what it would be like if someone said Pope Francis is going to be staying at your house.
That’s what it’s like for the Seminarians, the young men studying the priesthood, in Philadelphia.
We talked with a Seminarian from Lancaster County and he says the preparations aren’t just about security.
The World Meeting of Families isn’t just about parents with kids.
Everywhere you look, nuns and priests are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Pope Francis.
So are the young men studying to be priests.
“I think a lot of people think there’s going to be a lightning bolt or a flash instance of ‘this is what I’m supposed to be doing,’ but it’s more like a yearning that something is missing inside and a search for what that is,” said Tim Sahd.
Sahd worked for years in politics and journalism, eventually going back to Columbia, Lancaster County to work the family business.
“I loved doing those jobs. But I felt, even though I loved it, there was something missing. And I kept trying to find it in other things,” Sahd said, “To me that’s a sign that I was looking in the wrong places. And the thing I had been avoiding all my life was maybe what I should have been doing in the first place.”
Now Tim is four years into his studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, discerning the priesthood for the Diocese of Harrisburg.
Like many others, he’s long felt a connection to Pope Francis.
“He brings hope to a lot of people I think who sometimes feel the church is not a place for them. He gives them hope that this church is a place for them,” Sahd said.
That connection got even stronger when he found out the seminary would be hosting the Pope during his Philadelphia visit.
“Boy, that brings a sense of excitement. I mean, who expects the Pope is coming to their house?” Sahd said.
Most people can relate to the scramble that comes with getting ready for a house guest, but this goes beyond cleaning the bathrooms.
“There’s all kinds of security going up, fences and floodlights and things so there’s a palpable sense that someone important is coming,” Sahd said.
For Tim and his fellow seminarians, the spiritual preparation is even more important.
They’ve been in constant prayer, reflecting as they attend the World Meeting of Families.
“We see different languages, we see different cultures, we don’t think we’re united. But through our Catholic faith we’re all united,” Sahd said.
Tim says it’s a message you don’t have to be in Philly to hear loud and clear.
“You can see his closeness and need to be with his people. And I think we’re going to feel that this weekend and I hope the people who are watching at home watching on TV can sense that closeness he has with us and just unity of the church,” Sahd said.