Armando Cervantes, the 27-year-old director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Orange, Calif., presented the pope with a classic from the top tourist destination in his diocese -- Disneyland.
The Mickey Mouse hat, featuring the famous character's big ears, was inscribed "Benedict XVI," Cervantes said, adding that the pope did not try it on, but he was smiling.
Cervantes also gave the pope a copy of the U.S. bishops' Book of Blessings, photos from the pope's April trip to the United States, a California Angels baseball and a little "stress ball."
"The pope was squeezing it, but his assistants took the gifts away quickly," Cervantes said.
The menu for the meal in the rectory of St. Mary's Cathedral included sweet potato and pear soup; chicken, new potatoes and snow peas; and a lemon-and-passion-fruit-meringue pie.PHOTOS: Reuters
Cervantes, chosen to represent North America at the papal table, said he managed to eat the meal pretty much without looking at it.
"I kept looking up to make sure it was all real and that he (the pope) hadn't disappeared," he said.