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Tags: Pope Francis | monsignor | hilary franco. book | pope john paul | mother teresa

Monsignor Remembers John Paul II, Mother Teresa

hilary franco speaks from behind podium
Hilary Franco speaks at the Fortune + Time Global Forum 2016 on Dec. 2, 2016, in Rome, Italy. (Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images for TIME)
 

By    |   Monday, 14 June 2021 11:59 AM

Monsignor Hilary C. Franco hit New York City on Monday as he launched a publicity blitz for his brand new memoir, "SIX POPES: A Son of the Church Remembers," out this week.

Appearing on the Fox 5 morning show, "Good Day New York," Franco, 89, discussed the highly-anticipated book which chronicles his long, distinguished service in the Catholic Church under six popes.

Editor’s Note: Get Msgr. Franco’s new book 'SIX POPES' on Amazon — Go Here Now

Those pontiffs include John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis. 

"I knew them all and worked with them all and have so many wonderful memories,’’ Franco told host Rosanna Scotto.

One of them — John Paul II — he had known as a friend before he was tapped to head the Vatican, forcing Franco to quickly change how he referred to him.

"I had to begin addressing him as 'your Holiness' from then on," Franco recalled.

The monsignor was also an assistant to Fulton J. Sheen, the charismatic bishop watched by millions on TV’s "Life is Worth Living."

Interestingly, Scotto pointed out, that show  — watched by 41 million people — originated from the same studio where "Good Day New York" is now aired from.

Franco also told Scotto of his meetings with Mother Teresa, the renowned nun who worked her entire life helping the poor and infirm.

In their last meeting towards the end of her life when she was in her late 80s, Teresa and Franco discussed her years of travel around the world to carry on the church’s charitable work.

Franco said that, amazingly, Teresa had no plans to stop touring the world despite her failing health.

"She’s in a wheelchair and sickly and she’s telling me how she had just been to Moscow and how she was ready to go to China. She was remarkable," Franco said.

Born and raised in the Belmont section of the Bronx — home of teen idol Dion, who sang "The Wanderer" — he shipped off to Rome in the early 1950s to study at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. 

Ordained at 22, and working his way up the ecumenical ladder, Franco found himself a witness to some of the most extraordinary events in history, including the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981.

Franco tells many fascinating stories in "Six Popes," but he emphasizes that he’s not retiring anytime soon.

"I now serve as adviser at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations,’’ Franco told Scotto.

"SIX POPES: A Son of the Church Remembers" by Monsignor Hilary C. Franco with Anthony Flood is published by Humanix Books.

Editor’s Note: Get Msgr. Franco’s new book 'SIX POPES' on Amazon — Go Here Now

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Monsignor Hilary C. Franco hit New York City on Monday as he launched a publicity blitz for his brand new memoir, "SIX POPES: A Son of the Church Remembers," out this week. Franco, 89, discussed the highly-anticipated...
monsignor, hilary franco. book, pope john paul, mother teresa
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2021-59-14
Monday, 14 June 2021 11:59 AM
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