That One Time We Went on a Field Trip to See Pope Francis

In honor of the arctic “spring” camping field trip I got asked to chaperone last minute (and that we should be on as you read this), I’d thought I’d “throwback” to one of my favorite field trips as a teacher:


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A nice shot taken with a cardboard cut-out at the opening mass before the school year started.

I was blessed to be working in a Catholic School and living in DC at the time of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.

I remember when I was called down to the office via my coworker/roommate/best friend, Emmy. Butterflies danced in my stomach and although she reassured me it was nothing bad, I couldn’t help but think about everything I had done recently that could be deemed less than best practice. I will always feel nervous, like a small child, when being called to the office regardless of the reason. That’s probably what judgement day will feel like…

“Ms. Duchene, what would you do to go see Pope Francis?”


“Just about anything.”


“Hit the Quan.”

Music started playing to a dance that I had been planning to attempt to master at some point, but hadn’t quite had the kids teach me…and there I was making a fool of myself in the office, all in good fun and for the best cause.Image may contain: 1 person

A short while later, Emmy and I (along with some other teachers) were escorting a handful of students into the center of DC, playing games while waiting inside, singing and dancing while waiting outside, and getting to see the leader of the Catholic church…in the flesh!

He stood close to us and waved around. In his unique style, he greeted children in the front and he made a special stop for one girl in particular before returning and taking a break in his busy schedule.

My sister was in town at the time, and she had also managed to get tickets to different events that were being hosted. She updated us, as we were waiting on our few minute glimpse of one of the most fantastic humans.

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Here’s an article we published after the event: A Pope Francis Field Trip. Check it out for details of the day!


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