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Catholic convert delivers gift to Pope at WYD on behalf of Australia

2016-08-06

A year ago, going to a World Youth Day was the farthest thought from recent Catholic convert, Sam Evans', mind, let alone meeting and delivering a gift to Pope Francis on behalf of his country, Australia. 

As luck would have it, this is exactly what happened this past week in Poland, when Polish priest, Fr. Arek, randomly asked him to present the gift of a gold-trimmed, white leather WYD Pilgrim Pack to the Pope

SAMUEL EVANS 
Australia WYD Representative
"It was a bit of luck, a bit of being in the right place at the right time. He just came and asked me and said, "Hey do you want to represent Australia at the WYD and I kind of said, 'Why me?' There's so many people that would be better suited to do this job because they've been Catholic longer or would really, really love this and I feel like really undeserving. But I said, of course I said yes.” 

He presented the backpack with two other men, a man from Central Africa, and the creator and designer of the bags, who traveled from Miami, Florida. 

Each representative was asked to wear traditional clothes from their country. However, since he was asked while volunteering in Czestochowa he did not have sufficient time to prepare an outfit, unlike the Central African representative, who even had Pope Francis' face on his clothes. 

SAMUEL EVANS 
Australia WYD Representative
"Afterwards, we had the opportunity to shake his hand and receive a gift. So it was a bit unexpected. I didn't expect to meet him.” 

Just two months ago, Evans had another opportunity to personally meet Pope Francis. It was during his nine-month stint with the Emmanuel School of Mission in Rome.

SAMUEL EVANS, 
Australia WYD Representative
"Being asked again was like, 'Oh, really?!' Most people would love to do this once in their lifetime, let alone twice in the span of a couple of months. It's really cool.” 

While Sam's experience is surely unique, one can imagine he's happy he converted to Catholicism when he did.


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