Pope says he left U.S. praying for, impressed by its people

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — As the American Airlines plane taking him to Rome from Philadelphia took off, Pope Francis said he pictured the faces of all the people he met, and he prayed for them. At the end of his first-ever visit to the United States, the pope told reporters he…

Memory and motion: Pope Francis shows Americans who he really is

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Pope Francis speaks often about memory and motion, the importance of remembering where you came from and setting off without fear to share the Gospel. That’s what he did in the United States. He circled the Statue of Liberty in a helicopter and flew over Ellis Island not preparing to condemn the…

Serve, care for each other, pope tells families at closing Mass

By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service Pope Francis urged the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families to serve and care for each other as freely as God loves the human family. The pope called upon the faithful to embrace signs that the Holy Spirit can…

Pope meets with 5 abuse survivors in Philadelphia

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Sunday with three women and two men who had been sexually abused as children. The half hour meeting took place early in the morning at the St Charles Borromeo seminary in Philadelphia on the last day of the Pope’s visit to the United States. The abuse survivors were accompanied…

Local pilgrims see pope, listen to spontaneous talk on families

For Mary Jo Ruhland of Assumption Parish in Eden Valley, the four-hour wait on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia to catch a fleeting glimpse of the popemobile as it went by Sept. 26, was definitely worth it. “It is the steadfastness that people have in their hearts to wait for that moment when he…

Pope thanks families for witnessing to truth, goodness and beauty

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday thanked all families who bear witness to the beauty of family life. The Holy Father was speaking in Philadelphia at a Prayer Vigil for the 8th World Meeting of Families taking place at the city’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Pope listened to six couples giving testimony about the joys…

‘Let freedom ring!’ Respect for rights helps society, pope says

  PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Not far from where the Liberty Bell is on display, Pope Francis urged the people of the United States to continue to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof,” as the bell’s inscription says. Meeting Sept. 26 with members of the Hispanic community and immigrants at Independence…

Grotto highlights needs of poor, image of Mary as ‘Undoer of Knots’

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — In front of Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul stands a visible representation of Pope Francis’ favorite religious image: “Mary, Undoer of Knots.” The “Knotted Grotto” is a dome-shaped lattice-work frame that stands about 10 feet high with an approximately 20-foot circumference and features tens of thousands of white ribbons…

Attendees of World Meeting of Families help break Guinness world record

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — As confetti rained down and cheers filled the air on the final day of the World Meeting of Families Sept. 25, a family from Argentina applied brushstrokes to a mural depicting Pope Francis — pushing the number of contributors to the paint-by-numbers mural past 2,263 and into the Guinness Book of World…