By McKenna Hendrickson ’17
This week marks an historic moment for American Catholics – and Immaculate Heart – as Pope Francis makes his first trip ever to the United States. His arrival, in fact, will be the first papal visit to our country since 2008.
Pope Francis has made it clear that his main objective for the trip is his Saturday visit to the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. There, he will most likely voice his revolutionary opinions on how the church should deal with family issues, such as divorce and children. However, before that day comes, he intends to visit some of the most important sights in the U.S. as well as meet with President Barack Obama and American bishops.
President Obama, his wife and their daughters greeted Pope Francis at the airport upon his arrival on Tuesday. A formal meeting between the pope and the president took place on Wednesday and included a welcome ceremony at the White House. Later, Pope Francis presided at a Mass of canonization for Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Pope Francis has been invited to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress this Thursday. The busy pontiff will then rush over to New York City, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly on Friday morning.
Wherever he visits, the pope is expected to draw crowds in the high thousands. But even 3,000 miles away, members of Immaculate Heart’s school community are eagerly awaiting the pope’s arrival and want to know what he has in store for the Catholic Church. Teachers in the Social Studies department plan to review the pope’s address to Congress in class, while the theology department will discuss the pope’s speech to the UN on global issues.
However, IH students, not just teachers, are excited for the pope’s arrival. “I’m really excited for Pope Francis to come to the U.S.,” says junior Cameron Hendrickson. “I think the rest of the country is excited because he is such an amazing humanitarian force. You don’t have to be Catholic to like him!”
Source: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/francis/papal-visit- 2015/index.cfm/holy_father_life.htm, http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-pope-francis-us-visit-2015- 20140725-story.html
Pictures from cnn.com