Providence seminarian tells Pope: 'We are praying for you in Rhode Island'


ROME — On Sunday, August 20, the orientation group of students from the Pontifical North American College, including Providence seminarian Nathan Ledoux, met with the Holy Father before he recited the midday Angelus prayer with an estimated 10,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Among the crowd were 29 seminarians who had just arrived to begin their studies at the Pontifical North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome.
During the Angelus, Pope Francis gave them a shoutout and wished them “a good formation journey.” In his main talk, Pope Francis commented on the day’s Gospel reading, Mt 15:21-28, which tells the story of the Canaanite woman who asked Jesus to heal her daughter. At first, Jesus ostensibly brushes her off since she is not Jewish. But he sees her persistent faith and grants her request. “Faced with her concrete case, he becomes even more sympathetic and compassionate,” the pope said. “This is what God is like: he is love, and the one who loves does not remain rigid.”
“It was a very edifying experience and I mentioned to him that we are praying for him back in Rhode Island,” said Ledoux of meeting the Holy Father. “This is one of those moments that makes me so grateful for the various pastoral placements and ministries I’ve been able to connect with this summer. I am sure that the fruits of it will continue to have an impact over this next academic year and beyond.”
Ledoux of St. Joseph Church, Newport, is currently pursuing his theological studies at the Pontifical North American College, Rome.