By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
“It was amazing to hear the pope speak,” said Marianne Moyer of Staten Island, New York. She attended Mass at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Sept. 25.
Parishes in the five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island and upstate New York received tickets for parishioners to attend Mass with Pope Francis at the Garden.
Moyer was one of the lucky Catholics to win a ticket in her parish’s drawing. A member of The Church of the Holy Family in Staten Island, Moyer was contacted by her parish on Sept. 14 that she had won a ticket. “Ha! I proved my father wrong,” Moyer said of winning the ticket. “I told him I was going to win a ticket.”
Although she won two tickets, she chose to go alone. “If I were to take someone it would have to be another parishioner. But I wanted to experience this alone anyway. Take it all in.”
She left work as a teacher at noon to head to Manhattan by car, then bus, then subway to get to Madison Square Garden. After three hours in line, the doors were finally open.
The hour- and-a-half long Mass began “promptly at 6 p.m.”
Moyer said the Gospel and homily were in English. The pope spoke about how to live more like Christ. “Less of a flaunting lifestyle and help your fellow man,” she said. He also talked about immigration.
One remark that hit her was when the pope talked about “how our city has seen tragedy (he was at the 9/11 memorial earlier in the day). We are a busy and bustling city. We have to look past the darkness and look for Jesus who walks the streets with us. Look at your fellow man in need (he mentioned the poor and the immigrants) and help them. Don’t turn your back on them.”
Even though she was in seats up high in the Garden, Moyer said the “scent of incense rising from the altar was amazing! It was such an indescribable experience. Hearing 20,000 people pray together was amazing.”
(Moyer is the cousin of Anne Marie Amacher and Tony Forlini, both of The Catholic Messenger.)