Karine Jean-Pierre
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Out and Making His Mom Proud: Mo Rocca Opens for the Pope

Mo Rocca via MSNBC

He rose to fame thanks to The Daily Show, came out in 2011 and now works as a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, has a recurring role on The Good Wife and his own show on the Cooking Channel. But Mo Rocca’s newest claim to fame is that he is the first out man to deliver a reading at a mass officiated by a pope. 

As MSNBC and other reports showed, Rocca was on the altar, just feet from Pope Francis, when he took the pulpit Friday at Madison Square Garden's Papal Mass in New York, to read from the Old Testament. 

The first reading selected was Isaiah 9:2, which includes the passage:

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." 

Rocca made his Colombian mother proud by reading it in Spanish to the thousands of ticketed faithful attending Pope Francis’s first public Mass in the United States. 

Rocca, who hosts My Grandmother's Ravioli on the Cooking Channel tweeted, "I am deeply grateful and humbled to have delivered a reading at a Mass celebrated by [Pope Francis]," following the Mass.

And the reaction to his role in the mass lit-up Twitter.

And at least one person poured cold water on those tweeting that Rocca's participation signaled anything other than the Pope's love for all people: 


Rocca was born to a third generation Italian-American father from Leominster, Mass. and a Colombian mother from Bogota, according to the Latin Post, which reported he grew up as the youngest of three children in a loving, bilingual household in Washington, D.C. His mother immigrated to the nation's capital in 1956, when she was 28 years old.

Watch this clip from MSNBC's coverage of Pope Francis's mass at Madison Square Garden, in which Mo Rocca delivered the first reading, below. 

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