Kearny’s Brandon Enriquez was among 22 Paramus Catholic High School students who viewed a live video feed of Pope Francis’ historic address to a joint session of Congress last wek. Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-10th District) provided the tickets to the viewing on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
“Not many high schools in the world are given the opportunity to attend an event regarding the Pope twice within one calendar year,” said Paramus Catholic President James P. Vail. “After 130 pilgrims from Paramus Catholic saw Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square in February, it is a tremendous honor to now send 22 students to take part in the Holy Father’s appearance in our nation’s capital. We are very grateful to Congressman Payne for providing this opportunity.”
Demand for the tickets was high. Juniors and seniors who wanted to attend were required to write an essay on the significance of the Holy Father’s address to Congress and why they wanted to be in Washington to see it. The winning essays were selected by teachers.
Accompanying the students was Joseph Wilson, Paramus Catholic vice president, who recalls seeing Pope John Paul II at Madison Square Garden 35 years ago. “I am blessed to have been able to see the Pope in the United States first as a freshman in high school, and I now have this opportunity as an administrator at Paramus Catholic to chaperone this viewing,” Wilson said. “I feel like my experience has come full circle.”