Sister gives families a gift of a lifetime

Vancouver | June 29, 2018
Pope Francis blesses baby
Young families visiting the Vatican receive a moment to cherish by PeaceHealth’s Sr. Andrea Nenzel

Opportunities for kindness and compassion are all around us — in our own neighborhoods or thousands of miles from home. Just ask Sr. Andrea Nenzel, PeaceHealth’s board chairwoman.

As told to Catholic Health World, for the past two years Sr. Andrea has traveled to Vatican City as a participant in the Catholic Health Association's annual Ecclesiology and Spiritual Renewal Program for Health Care Leaders.

A highlight of that trip is being part of the papal general audience in St. Peter’s Square. CHA participants are offered a prime viewing location as the pope drives by, smiling and waving at the cheering crowd.

During each of her visits, Sr. Andrea has invited a young family to take her front-row spot, and with it the rare opportunity to possibly have their baby blessed by Pope Francis.

It’s a thoughtful moment of grace that is cherished by the families, who have often traveled very long distances to be part of the occasion.

"A baby always touches your heart," Sr. Andrea told the Catholic Health World reporter. "The joy and absolute innocent awe of the parents to have their child blessed in this way touched people in ways I don't think they will forget."