Today was the last day of my Vatican Internship at the the Pontifical Council for Social Communication (PCCS). Having this internship was one of the most amazing parts of my experience here in Rome. I did a lot of work with social media which was fun and interesting and confirmed that this is what I want to do when I graduate. This wasn’t a very typical internship, first off it’s in Rome and at a Pontifical office, but it wasn’t like some internships you hear about where interns are doing filing and busy work and making coffee. Natalie and I worked together and were given daily assignments for our boss, TJ, that was actually useful, I learned a lot of practical skills for this field.
My favorite part of the internship was every Wednesday Natalie and I would be sent out to the Papal Audience to take pictures. Before the audience begins, the Pope comes out in a car and is driven around St. Peter’s square for about 20 minutes. We would take pictures on our phones for Instagram as well as on the Villanova Photography equipment. Yesterday was our last work audience day and we got the best spot in the square yet, we saw Pope Francis drive by twice, kiss 5 babies and put on a skull cap someone handed to him! It was the best audience yet. We stayed for the whole audience this time and listened to his whole address (which is then translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Arabic). Then at the end everyone reads the Our Father prayer in Latin (it’s printed on the back of the Audience Ticket). This is also when the Pope imparts his Apolistic blessing on all those present, to our families and loved ones, especially those who are sick and suffering and also any religious articles brought with the purpose to be blessed. So, yesterday I was blessed by the Pope and so were you, my family and loved ones! For not being a very religious person this really moved me, I think because I have spent so much time in the square seeing the Pope, but also because by staying through his address I really got to reflect on my time here and appreciate this amazing opportunity that I am so lucky to have had these past four months. This wasn’t my last papal audience, Natalie and I are planning to go again next week because, why not? We’ve been to almost every other one this semester!
I loved working for my boss and with Natalie for pretty much every assignment haha. I think this once in a lifetime experience has really prepared me for what is to come in my future and really helped me grow a lot. I’m really going to miss seeing St. Peter’s Square on the way to work everyday, it really hasn’t gotten old. Waking up early every morning was sometimes a struggle but it was 1000% worth it to have such a great opportunity and one I will never forget!