Monsignor Hilary Franco: Six Popes: A Son of the Church Remembers

“Monsignor Franco is known as an engaging storyteller of his impactful time in the Church. Read this book and you will see why.” — Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archdiocese of New York

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.

As a young man he attended Rome’s premier seminary, soon after becoming the special assistant to Archbishop Fulton Sheen. As a priest he 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.

Stories of this book’s six pontiffs that Franco served under — John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis — offer landmarks along Franco’s trek through the corridors of spiritual power in New York, Washington, D.C., and Rome.

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.

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