When Pope Francis celebrates communion on his trip to New York City, he is expected to use the work of a master silversmith's hands to do so. The silversmith is Adrian Pallarols, who has known the pope for more than a decade. "I'm waiting to see a friend -- somebody that I love a lot," he said.
I met him just hours after he arrived in New York from Argentina. He is anxious to see his old friend again. He remembers the good old days when then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio presided at his wedding and baptized his daughter. They'd break bread together in Buenos Aires. He said Bergolio would make coffee for the two of them.
Times have changed. Pallarols still lives in Argentina, his friend is the Holy Father and there's no time for cookies and coffee together anymore.
But Pallarols is still a silversmith and he has crafted one of the more beautiful treasures you will see: a silver chalice made from old jewelry donated by more than 800 people from across the United States. This silversmith melted the useless scraps into a priceless treasure. A map of the United States occupies the center of the chalice with good reason.
"When he holds the chalice with both hands, he will pray having the whole country on his hands, praying for them," Pallarols
Pallarols isn't sure precisely when the pope will use the chalice in New York. But he is sure of this: his friend, the Holy Father, will make a point of meeting as many common, ordinary people as possible.
"I know America is very, very respectful about protocol, about security measures," Pallarols said. "You will have to work a lot because he will get close to the people."
Since Pallarols would know better than anyone, I asked what sets this pope apart from the others.
"He's not a monarch. He's not a boss. He's not a chief," he said. "He's a priest."
A priest who will see his old friend, the silversmith, on his trip to New York and a priest who will hold a small piece of so many strangers in his hands.