Pope Francis has concluded his four-day visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
But even though his four days here have come to an end, he has left a mark on Christians, Muslims and peoples of other faiths.
His events and words on this visit have had two audiences but with a single central message: peaceful coexistence.
The first several events were focused on inter-religious dialogue and held out the possibility of creating an oasis in what he called the “parched deserts of human coexistence.”
That oasis of peace should be watered by each of us with our daily actions on behalf of human fraternity.
The Pope made his appeal when speaking with Bahrain’s civil leaders, at the closing session of the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue, and in his words to the Muslim Council of Elders.
Love and love some more
Then, on Friday, the Pope turned his attention to the Catholic community in the entire Gulf region. He encouraged Christians to love their neighbors even of other faiths, and even when evil is done to them. Pope Francis also called on the Church’s consecrated and lay ministers to follow the three-fold path of joy, unity, and prophecy in their proclamation of the Gospel with their actions.
There have been a handful of nuns in the background of these events who have mostly gone unnoticed. The Apostolic Carmel Sisters are short in stature but larger than life in their silent work.
They even sat in the back of the Pope’s meeting with young people at the Sacred Heart School, even though five of them run the only Catholic school in Bahrain.
In their decades of ministry, the sisters have formed thousands of young minds in Bahrain, and many people in government position were formed by them.
Now, as the visit has ended, the Pope's time here in Bahrain will surely begin to bear fruit, as everyone returns to their daily mission of spreading peace in the Gulf region and in the world.