A Son of the Church Remembers
By Monsignor Hilary C. Franco
Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations
Eyewitness to 60 Years of Catholic History
SIX POPES: A Son of the Church Remembers is Monsignor Hilary C. Franco's engaging memoir and a story only a son can tell - a son not only of the Catholic Church, but also of Italian immigrants. From Belmont, his Bronx neighborhood, Franco rose to work with the highest and most influential figures of the Roman Catholic Church.
From John XXIII to Francis, few clergy can claim the friendships Franco has had with the great Popes of modern times, including Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict. As a young man, he attended Rome's premier seminary, soon after becoming the special assistant to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, America's most influential Catholic and famed television host.
Monsignor Franco will tell you:
· When he felt the calling to join the priesthood;
· About his special friendship with Mother Teresa;
· About his front row seat to major socio-political events such as the civil rights movement, political assassinations, the Cold War, and genocides;
· Whether there is a characteristic common to the Six Popes;
· About the biggest challenge facing the Catholic Church; and
· How he feels about the post-COVID future.
As a priest, Monsignor Franco would travel the world, and he recounts a harrowing experience in the Deep South in the early 1960s, his work at the Vatican Councils that redefined the Church, and his time posted at the Church's diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C., and the United Nations. This most formidable churchman reveals his tales of intellectual, pastoral, and diplomatic service to the Catholic Church, enlivened by recollections of the fascinating people he came to know - from U.S. presidents and foreign heads of state, to religious leaders like Padre Pio and Saint Mother Teresa. The title of his current role, Advisor at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, gives little hint of the drama of the times he recollects.
SIX POPES: A Son of the Church Remembers is written from a unique eyewitness vantage on many of the events and movements that shaped our world and the Catholic Church. There is really no other book like it.
"Monsignor Franco is known as an engaging storyteller
of his impactful time in the Church."
— TIMOTHY CARDINAL DOLAN ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORKABOUT THE AUTHOR: Monsignor Hilary C. Franco, STD, JCL, MA (SOC) (NEW YORK, NY) is Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Franco was ordained a priest in Rome at 22 and received a doctorate in biblical theology before the age of 24 from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He attended Fordham University in New York, where he earned a master's degree in sociology. Later, he earned another degree in canon law at the Lateran University. He is the author of Bishop Sheen: Mentor and Friend.