Last Thursday, Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Pope John Paul II while he was in the Vatican for the 7th Congress of Circus Workers. The 29 year-old Brazilian was invited to speak at the conference which was studying how parishes can support the faithful who work in the entertainment world and whose schedules force them to be away from home for extended periods of time.
A group of about 100 people, including bishops, attended the meeting in order to examine "the type of reception that the local Church, the Catholic community and the parish can offer these people who are passing through, in constant change." Castroneves addressed the group about the role that his faith has had in his life and career as a racecar driver.
"I'm so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the Pope," said Castroneves. "To be in that position was one of the most incredible achievements of my life. It's difficult to put into words.
It was also a wonderful experience to be able to speak to the group about what God and religion have meant to me in my personal life. My faith has always been so important to me. I'm just so fortunate to have been a part of the whole event."