On June 15th, Bishop Kirkpatrick visited Pope Francis Catholic Elementary School to make a special delivery on behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis! Students and staff were thrilled by the beautiful and unexpected surprise.
Bishop Kirkpatrick, who officiated the Kleinburg’s school’s recent Solemn Blessing and Official Opening in April, visited Rome in the days immediately after the Blessing, along with the Bishops of Ontario. The Bishops were fortunate to have an audience with Pope Francis. At this meeting, Bishop Kirkpatrick told Pope Francis about the Solemn Blessing of the school in Ontario which bears his name. As a gift to the school, Pope Francis gave his zucchetto – the white skull cap which is particular to popes – to Bishop Kirkpatrick and asked him to gift it to the school.
At the June 15th assembly, students and staff welcomed Bishop Kirkpatrick back to their school, and Bishop Kirkpatrick shared his story of meeting with Pope Francis. He said that Pope Francis took the Zucchetto he was wearing off his head and handed it to Bishop Kirkpatrick and said, ‘please bring this to the school’. In addition, Bishop Kirkpatrick also gifted medallions of St. Francis and a rosary, blessed by Pope Francis, to the school. Each Pope Francis CES student will receive one of these medallions. The students had many questions for the Bishop about his trip to the Vatican and what his role entails, which he happily answered for the awestruck audience.
YCDSB and Pope Francis CES are very grateful to Bishop Kirkpatrick for speaking about Pope Francis school to its patron, Pope Francis, and for acquiring these gifts. The zucchetto, rosary, medallions and photos of the Bishop’s meeting with Pope Francis will be permanently displayed at school.