“In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities,” said Pope Francis.
The Pope later met with Catholic Charities and visited the homeless at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
By 6:45 pm, Pope Francis had arrived in New York and de- livered an evening prayer service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
On September 25, he em- barked on his most ambitious trip: meeting with the United Nations General Assembly, conducting a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, visiting Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, and front-lining a pro- cession in Central Park, all before holding a Mass in Madison Square Garden.
His chair and altar were built by young men from the Lincoln Hall Boys Haven and immigrant laborers.
The Pope’s next stop during his papal visit was to Philadelphia, where he held a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and visited Independence Hall, the founding home of democracy, to view the Liberty Bell, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence.
In the speech he delivered at Independence Hall, Pope Francis ad- dressed the care of the impoverished and defenseless:
“I take this opportunity to thank all those, of whatever religion, who have sought to serve the God of peace by building cities of brotherly love, by caring for our neighbors in need, by defending the dignity of God’s gift of life in all its stages, by defending the cause of the poor and the immigrant. All too often, those most in need of our help are unable to be heard. You are their voice, and many of you have faithfully made their cry heard,” Pope Francis said.
On September 26, Pope Francis conducted a prayer vigil
with the World Meeting of Catholic Families, hosted by comedians Mark Wahlberg and Jim Gaffigan. In addition, performances from American singer, Aretha Franklin, Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, Colombian singer, Juanes, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and American band, The Fray, were also included.
On September 27, as per USA Today, “The Pope visited Cur- ran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. Inmates at a neighboring prison — Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center —,” had already prepared his chair.
“It is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities. It
is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society,” Pope Francis said as he addressed the detainees at the correctional facility.
Around 8 pm that night, Pope Francis departed for Rome. The Pope’s papal visit has
encouraged more unity within the Christian-Catholic community.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, “Pope Francis was like a giant, but gentle, wind that swept across the social and cultural landscape. He has put that wind into our sails…”