DUBUQUE, Iowa - On Wednesday, Kay and Gary Gansemer found themselves in the middle of St. Peter's Square during the announcement of the new pope.
Gary is the President and C.E.O of Hillcrest Family Services. Employees work with troubled young people who are struggling emotionally and spiritually and financially. When the new Pope chose the name "Francis", after St. Francis of Assisi, Gansemer knew he was in the right place at the right time.
Gansemer said, "when the white smoke went up, everybody was dancing. You knew you were part of history. "
As part of a St. Ambrose University Alumni Tour, the Gansemers had this vacation planned for more than year. For the Catholic family, it's turning out to be the trip of a lifetime.
Gransemer said, "The Pope came out and he asked everyone to pray for him before he prayed over them. 150,000 people in the square were dead silent. "
In witnessing the reveal of the first non-European Pope in more than 1200 years, Gansemer says it was a truly spiritual moment.
"And then he chose St. Francis who was dedicated to the poor. I mean I am truly inspired," said Gansemer.