Vatican News
Pope Francis and representatives of WYD at lunch on Jan. 26, 2019.  Bedwin Taitus (extreme left), Dennis Galdamez (2nd on Pope's left). Pope Francis and representatives of WYD at lunch on Jan. 26, 2019. Bedwin Taitus (extreme left), Dennis Galdamez (2nd on Pope's left).  (Vatican Media)

WYD Panama: India and Australia at lunch with the Pope

Vatican News speaks to two of the young people who lunched with Pope Francis on Saturday. They give scarce details of the menu, but plenty of impressions of the Pope.

By Seàn-Patrick Lovett

They couldn’t actually remember what they ate for lunch. Clearly it wasn’t that important. All they really cared about was the fact they were having lunch with Pope Francis himself.

Listen to Bedwin and Dennis

Bedwin from India

Bedwin Taitus is from Kerala, India. He thinks the food they ate was typically Panamanian, and he knows “that it was really tasty”. But that’s all he remembers about the meal itself. “The food was secondary”, he says, “we were too busy concentrating on talking to the Pope!”.

It seems the conversation turned naturally to the question of if and when Pope Francis will make a pastoral visit to India. Bedwin was encouraged when the Pope told him he is “trying to come to India”, and was particularly excited to discover the Pope knew about his home state of Kerala.

Dennis from Australia

Dennis Montano Galdamez is from Melbourne, Australia. He remembers they were offered wine to drink, but he felt it was safer to stick to water. He too was curious to know if and when the Pope might make a trip “down under”. As usual, Pope Francis did not commit himself, but did confirm that he wants to visit Oceania, Indonesia, and countries in Asia. So Dennis remains hopeful.

First and last impressions

Both young men are well aware that, having met the Pope, they will at the centre of attention when they return home. So they have already started practising what they will say when people ask them to describe Pope Francis.

For Bedwin , the Pope is: “very humble, someone to look up to at any second of your life, and someone who reminds us of God’s love”.

For Dennis he is “someone who really wants to get into the problems of young peoples’ lives, but also the problems of humanity’s struggle, against loneliness, corruption”. He is also “someone who is very gentle, very humble.”

But Bedwin hasn’t finished, and jumps in with a last impression about Pope Francis: “He understand everyone’s pain”, he adds, thoughtfully. “Even if it is a little pain, he understands it”.


Lunch with the Pope
26 January 2019, 23:52