What a glorious week it was!

Everyone has his own story of the events. I was blessed to be able to travel to Washington, D.C., for the National Prayer Breakfast, and to New York to join the young people and the seminarians at the “happening” with Benedict and to distribute Communion at Yankee Stadium.

Even if you only watched the Holy Father on Pope2008.com (our website that carried live EWTN footage was heavily trafficked) you probably have your own story, as well.

That is what a visit like this does. Cardinal Francis George saw it in Pope John Paul II’s extensive travels. He called it the “ministry of presence.” That the Holy Father came to our nation affects the whole Church here.

His visit later to Sydney will affect the whole Church, also. And I am certain that many young Americans, who couldn’t get enough of Pope Benedict here, are now planning to go see him there.

The World Youth Day events begun by John Paul II have had an extraordinary effect. One could even say that they have reshaped the Church, through the many vocations and seeds of faith that are planted there.

If you enjoyed Pope2008.com during this visit, or if you missed it, not to worry: The site, as its name suggests, is not ready to retire just yet. Tim Drake will bring you the next chapter in this extraordinary year of papal encounters.

I liked what one of our editors, Tom Wehner, said on the site when the Pope was headed back to Rome:

“That’s too bad. It seems like he just got here!”