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    Posted March 18, 2013 by
    Rome, Italy
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Catholics: Your views on new pope

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    A Homage to Pope Francis in the Right Place at the Right Time


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter Fr. Joel Camaya says he was inspired to share his story so that others could experience the joy of God's gift to the Church.

    Being at the right place at the right time--this is how I describe myself in the face of these recent events in Rome where I have stayed since the autumn of 2010. But circumstances way beyond me have come this time and they have led me to this place, to St. Peter's Square, for the past 30 days or so, beginning with the announcement of Benedict XVI that he was stepping down, and the days that came after that, the last of his Pontificate, where we came to listen to him--in the Angelus, in his last audience.

    Then came the time of waiting: the Conclave where the cardinals would choose the man who would be pope. We waited for the white smoke. And this most awaited result came in March 13, after seven in the evening. People cheered and listened to the proverbial “Habemus Papam”. It was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina who took the name “Francis”. More cheers as he appeared from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. Yes, “Habemus Papam”. We have a new Pope.
    From the pictures I took, there are two images that strike me. One is about a European Herring Gull that perched on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. I heard laughter from the people around me when they saw it. That was during the long wait for the smoke. And later my brother Emerson informed me via internet: the scientific name of the bird was “Larus argentatus”. Doesn’t that sound like “Argentina”?
    When I went home that same evening, I reviewed the photos that I took. One particular shot gave me goosebumps. A good two hours before the white smoke flowed, I thought that it would be good to take a panoramic shot of the huge crowd in the Piazza. Knowing the features of my camera, I panned it from left to right. When I looked at the picture, I saw the flag of Argentina waving at the center! A prophetic shot!

    I wanted to share all these photos of that special evening to give an angle that is diverse from the bigtime media. I presented my photos, taken by one among the many in the crowd. I wanted to share these too as my personal homage to Pope Francis.

    This beautiful night was an intimate experience of being in the right place at the right time.

    This is Father Joel Camaya, CNN iReporter, Vatican City.
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