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Pope Francis’ U.S Trip

Brooke Pompeo
Student Writer

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Pope Francis addressing the crowd at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. Photo from USA Today

The media has been buzzing ever since the Italian plane arrived in D.C. on Tuesday.

Every news channel, website, and social media account has been following Pope Francis this week as he makes a historic visit to the United States. The World Meeting of Families, which brings Catholics all over the world together, is being held in Philadelphia this year.

Richie Marinelli, a sophomore, is excited for the impact Pope Francis will have on the United States. “Having this World Festival of Families is so important, especially in this melting pot like America,” says Marinelli. “He’s going to come here and he’s going to change the ball game.”

The Pope arrived in D.C. Tuesday afternoon and was greeted by the Obama family.

After being welcomed on the runway by cheers from a crowd, Bishops, Priests, and every media outlet, the Pope’s visit to the United States had officially begun.

Pope Francis left people talking after a busy visit in D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday included a parade and visit to the White House, a trip to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Pope Francis then spoke in front of a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, to push members to take action toward becoming a better nation.

The media made sure to cover the meeting with Congress as Pope Francis touched on major controversial topics in America.

“Everybody is talking about him, in a good way.” Marinelli stated. “He definitely is a special guy and he’s definitely going to say things that are going to spark up debate and spark up criticism.”

After the moving speech to the members of Congress, Pope Francis had lunch with an organization called Catholic Charities, who help the homeless, and a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Pope Francis was back on the plane Thursday evening as he headed to his next stop, New York City.

His time in New York began with evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Friday was just as busy for the Pope as he spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Pope held a service Friday at the 9/11-memorial site where people from all religious backgrounds attended. Pope Francis reminded everyone at the service that the people who lost their lives can never be forgotten and there is still hope after the horrible tragedy.

He continued his journey at Our Lady Queen of Angels School where he visited a third grade class. He felt a strong connection to the students as his want to show more love to immigrants could be found when he spoke to the multi-racial school. Pope Francis then held Mass for an estimated 20,000 later Friday night in Madison Square Garden.

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Photo by Senior Liz Gallo who attended Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Liz Gallo, a Senior, attended the Mass on Friday night. “Seeing Pope Francis say Mass, as a Catholic, was the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Gallo. “His homily emphasized that despite the struggles that NYC has experienced such as 9/11, he still sees the church among the city.”

The Pope’s last two days in the United States will be spent in Philadelphia, where all major roads have been closed since earlier this week.

Saturday included arrival in the city, Mass at Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, talks about immigration at Independence Mall, and a prayer vigil at Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The Pope’s final day in the U.S. is packed, much like the rest of the week.

He will meet with Bishops, visit a jail, lead Mass at the World Meeting of Families, meet with the leaders of this year, and then head back to Italy late Sunday night. Pope Francis showed while in the U.S., he was the humble and unique Pope the media has portrayed him to be.

Gallo mentioned at the end of the Mass, “He smiled and said, ‘and please, don’t forget to pray for me.” The Pope’s time in the U.S. will definitely cause conversation about politics, faith, and America as a whole and the media will continue to spark debate and stories of what words and actions he left for America.

For a full schedule: http://time.com/4043510/pope-francis-us-visit-schedule/

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