It had been raining for most of the afternoon and early evening on the crowd gathered at St. Peter’s Square in Rome on Wednesday, but shortly after the white smoke came out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, the rain stopped.
David Kidd, of Lima, will never forget that moment marking the naming of a new pope.
In Rome as part of his studies to be a priest, the 2005 Lima Central Catholic graduate has had a box seat for the historic naming of Argentine Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis, the first pope from the Americas.
“I was in St. Peter’s Square right when the white smoke came out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. I couldn’t believe it was happening. I didn’t think it was going to happen so quickly,” Kidd said. “Everyone started cheering ‘Habemus Papum’ — We have a pope — then the whole crowd rushed forward to move closer to the front of St. Peter’s. I was overjoyed.”
Later when Pope Francis came out from the window on the facade of St. Peter’s, Kidd was amazed at the calmness in his voice.
“He had such a humble and prayerful presence to him. When Pope Francis asked us to pray for him that God would bless him, and then he bowed to receive the prayers, my jaw dropped. I was so taken aback by his great humility. That moment of silence was heavenly.”
It has been a history-filled 35 days for Kidd. He had just finished with exams and was on a sight-seeing trip with another seminarian on the Monday that Pope Benedict announced he was resigning.
“Initially, I was quite surprised and saddened. He was my pope … elected when I was a senior in high school, so all of my adult life he has been the Shepherd of the Church,” Kidd said. “I also thought Pope Benedict was staying true to who he is, and his decision to resign was again another example of a humble man who loves Jesus and his church and wants the best for her.”
On the Sunday that Pope Benedict gave his final blessing, Kidd could not believe the waves of people that just kept pouring into St. Peter’s Square.
“There were 200,000 people there. Normally, you don’t get to say goodbye to the Holy Father before he leaves us, but the expression of support and love by the crowds of people for this Pope has been tremendous.”
Kidd is in his second year of theology at the Pontifical North American College. He has three more years before he becomes a priest. He will complete one more year of studies in Rome and then return home to do a pastoral year in a parish within the Toledo Diocese. After that he will be ordained a transitional deacon and return to Rome for one more year of studies before being ordained a priest.
His journey to the priesthood began with a strong Catholic upbringing by his parents, Kathy and Kevin Kidd. Because of his deep faith, he was approached about entering the priesthood by the Rev. Todd Dominique while attending LCC. Instead, he enrolled at Ashland University, during which time he also served as a U.S. soldier in the Ohio National Guard.
During his two years in college he dated a girl, but the call to the priesthood became stronger and his relationship ended. About that same time, his military unit was deployed to Kuwait and his calling to the priesthood solidified.
“I learned that not only was I willing to live and die for my country, but I was even more so willing to live and die for my Roman Catholic faith. I returned home on Dec. 7th, 2008, and soon thereafter was accepted as a seminarian for the diocese of Toledo.”
As Kidd noted, “For me, the Lord just kept calling, so I finally decided to pick up.”
ROSES AND THORNS: A busy day in the rose garden with spring two days away.
Rose: To Lima pharmacist Jim Pack, who offers his customers free pocket-sized copies of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as “an appreciation for our heritage.”
Rose: To Dr. Richard Ross, a former school superintendent at Ottawa-Glandorf High School. He was named state superintendent of public instruction, which is Ohio’s top education official and the executive in charge of the Ohio Department of Education.
Rose: Cody Clark, a first-generation college student and University of Cincinnati biomedical engineering major from Lima, has been honored with the university’s Just Community Award. The Shawnee graduate has been president of the university’s Honors Council and has landed a job with Zimmer, an orthopaedics company.
Rose: This Sunday is the 26th annual CIAO Italian Dinner at the Civic Center. If the meatballs, sausage and pasta isn’t enough to whet your appetite, the cannoli pastry will get the job done.
Rose: To Patrick Connor and Jenna Whitaker of Lima. Their idea was featured Sunday in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.”
Rose: Local farmers, who wished to remain anonymous, and the Monsanto Fund, donated $2,500 to the Future Farmers of America and athletic funds at Spencerville High School.
Thorn: Getting around the east side of Lima will be a headache as the next phase of the Interstate 75 upgrade begins at the state Route 309 interchange.
Thorn: The first day of spring arrives Wednesday with the high temperature expected to below freezing at 31 degrees.
PARTING SHOT: Golf is a lot like taxes. You drive hard to get to the green and then wind up in the hole