Saturday, April 8, 2017

Guam Family Receives Papal Blessings

What a beautiful occasion!  It is not often that one would have someone from faraway Guam get a blessing from the Pope.  It so happened that a family from Guam was there in Rome and suddenly a man comes out yelling "bambino, bambino!  Give me your bambino!"  The infant was given to Pope Francis. This memory will always be cherished by the Tajalle family and all of Guam's people. Biba Guam!!!! According to The Guam Daily Post:

Guam girl gets blessing from pope

"This is an awesome opportunity to share our blessing with the entire island. It's not every day someone from Guam gets to experience this." – Shawn Tajalle

The air was cold and it was still dark outside when Shawn and Laura Tajalle got their five kids ready on a trip to St. Peter's Square at the Vatican early Wednesday morning to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis during his weekly Papal Audience and Mass. What they got was a memory that will last for generations to come, and a blessing they want to share with their beloved Guam during a troubled time for the island's Catholic community.
The couple has been stationed in Shape, Belgium, for nearly two years where Shawn Tajalle serves as a captain in the U.S. Army. With a new duty station to report to in the summer, the family wanted to experience the Vatican before heading to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
Shawn Tajalle's parents, Joey and Sandra Tajalle, went with them, fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit Rome and see the relics and saints.
"We woke up early to try and beat the crowds," Shawn Tajalle said. Their group of 12 ended up being the second in line to go through security, giving them highly coveted front row seats to see Pope Francis and his motorcade.
They waited for several hours as crowds flocked to the square. "As he (Pope) was coming, the crowd was pushing against the fences," Shawn Tajalle recalled.
There on the white popemobile, the family saw Pope Francis waving to the crowd heading their way, when Shawn Tajalle heard a man 20 feet away yelling to him in Italian.
"He kept saying 'bambino, bambino, give me your bambino,'" Shawn Tajalle said. "I was hesitant to give him my daughter. This guy was a stranger calling for my kid."
A bit confused, he reluctantly handed over his 14-month-old sleeping daughter, Makenna, to the man who passed her along to one of the pope's ushers, who walked right up to the pope's car and raised the sleeping girl to the Holy Father.
"She was sleeping because we were up so early and for some reason when the pope kissed her, she opened her eyes. It was so surreal," Shawn Tajalle said.
When Makenna returned to her father, she went right back to sleep. Makenna was the fifth child that day to receive a blessing from the pope.
The family was able to document the blessing on cell phones, and the Vatican took several photos that the Tajalles purchased yesterday as keepsakes.
Being raised Catholic, visiting the Vatican was a dream come true and Shawn is grateful he was able to share the experience with his visiting parents.
"They brought us up in the faith," he said.
With all that's happening in Guam with the Catholic Church facing dozens of child sex abuse lawsuits and division over the Neocatechumenal Way, Shawn Tajalle said the encounter with the pope wasn't just a blessing for his daughter and his family, but for his beloved island of Guam.
Shawn Tajalle said he and his parents were raised in the Neocatechumenal Way, and with the troubles in the Catholic Church in Guam, he "kind of walked away" from the church, but the blessing at St. Peter's Square opened his eyes.
"God is good. He's always provided for us and puts us back on track to where we should be or where we need to go," he told The Guam Daily Post.
Shawn Tajalle said the pope thanked everyone who came to attend the Mass on Wednesday and said the Apostolic blessing was extended not just to those in attendance, but to their families with the intention to bring "the blessing back home."
"This is an awesome opportunity to share our blessing with the entire island," the Father Duenas Memorial School graduate said. "It's not every day someone from Guam gets to experience this."
Joey Tajalle was overjoyed to witness and experience the papal audience and his granddaughter's papal blessing, calling it a "powerful experience."
The trip had been planned for almost six months as they had scheduled the trip to attend their son's military promotion.
"My parents in the early '70s always spoke to us about Rome and how beautiful it is," Joey Tajalle said. "It's by the grace of the Lord that we were able to encounter such a grace by waking up early."
Still euphoric about the experience and sharing it with friends from Guam and around the world, Shawn Tajalle said he believes this experience will surely impact his daughter's life as well as the people of Guam.
"People back home need to be strong in their faith," he said. "God will provide when you least expect it."

1 comment:

  1. +BEAUTIFUL+ it's nice to read something good about the people in Guam then something so negative the Jungle, what a few hateful people, could do to the people of Guam and Church