I meant to post this yesterday but Dad29 beat me to it. In advance of the Pope's visit to the United States, Mgr. Malloy (a Milwaukee-area product) made a round trip from Washington DC to New York in grand style.
Hagin said he and Msgr. Malloy were in one of a series of meetings about Pope Benedict XVI’s April 15-20 U.S. visit when they concluded neither one of them was clear on some details about the JFK airport departure. The only solution, he said, was for them to make a trip to New York to see the site for themselves.
“I usually travel with the president,” Hagin explained, and he realized that the very next day he was scheduled to accompany President George W. Bush on a trip to New York, using JFK airport. He suggested Msgr. Malloy tag along for the ride.
So March 14, Msgr. Malloy made a same-day round trip to New York aboard the president’s Boeing 747.
Before the president arrived for departure from Andrews Air Force Base, Msgr. Malloy got to tour the plane, then he went to sit in the back where staff members and the press pool are usually seated.
Msgr. Malloy told CNS in an e-mail that the White House staff was “most gracious.”
Hagin said that on the flight back to Washington, the president asked him who was in the back of the plane. When he mentioned Msgr. Malloy and explained their mission related to the pope’s visit, the president told Hagin, “Get him up here.”
Msgr. Malloy said he and Bush chatted for about five minutes, during which the president “expressed his esteem for Pope Benedict. He said that he had given the instruction to the White House staff that he wanted every effort made to make the Holy Father feel most welcome.”
As one family member e-mailed me, the least he could have done was swipe a few souveneir ashtrays.