Nathan Schoenle's essay: 'I've been blessed with so many amazing opportunities'

Special to The Detroit News

Freshman wide receiver shares in an essay why he'd like to meet Pope Francis.


I’m emailing you to let you know that I would like to be considered for the opportunity of meeting Pope Francis. We talked briefly about it a couple of weeks ago, and I am reiterating now that getting to meet Pope Francis would be an unforgettable experience and memory I would carry with me for the rest of my life. I would be incredibly grateful if you chose me to join you because you’d be fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine to meet the Pope. Jesus Christ and my Catholic Faith are the most important things to me, and what I consider to be my purpose in this life; it is unsurprising then that getting to meet the man who is the leader of that Faith would mean a lot to me. I can’t express how appreciative I would be for the opportunity to shake his hand, look him in the eyes, and receive a blessing from him.

Michigan wide receiver Nate Schoenle

If I could meet any person today, I would choose the Pope. And if I could meet any Pope, (after St. Peter and St. John Paul II) I would choose Pope Francis. I remember watching him give his first papal address and asking Catholics everywhere to pray for him in the role, and knowing right then that he was going to be an amazing, humble leader. He is a huge inspiration, and I am constantly awed by the works of mercy he performs for the homeless in Argentina, the Syrian refuges, and countless others. One of my favorite saints is Mother Teresa of Calcutta because of the perfect model she gave of selfless, unconditional love; I truly believe that Pope Francis is the best example of that love the world has seen since Mother Teresa. I would really cherish any "wise words" that he could give us during the visit.

I know this is likely the only chance I will ever have to meet the Pope, and I would be beyond thrilled to join you if you would have me. I've been blessed with so many amazing opportunities through Michigan Football over this past year, but none of them would have come even close to this. So I hope you will consider me for one of the spots! Thanks Coach, and I’ll see you at Schembechler Hall!

Nathan Schoenle