By Lauren Rust
Pope Francis came to America, making both Catholics and non-Catholics flock across the country to see him.
Francis was here from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, making for a week the United States will not forget for a long time. The pope visited Washington D.C. first where he met President Obama on the 22nd.
On the 23nd, Francis canonized Junipero Serra, therefore making him a saint, becoming the first ever canonization on American soil.
The next day Francis spoke at a joint session of the U.S. Senate and the House.
“Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation,” Francis said.
On Sept. 25, Francis arrived in New York, meeting with the United Nations and led a procession through Central Park. The people in attendance were the lucky winners of one of the 80,000 raffle tickets issued by the city.
On Sept. 26, Francis made his way to Philadelphia, visiting Independence Hall and the Festival of Families. The festival is a part of the World Meeting of Families, which is why Francis chose to come to America in September.
On Francis’ final day in the United States, he decided to visit the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility and to hold mass with the World Meeting of Families. He departed for Rome at 8 p.m.
During his trip, Francis said mass every day, the foundation of the Catholic faith. These masses attracted thousands of Catholics and non-Catholics, giving them a new perspective to the still new pope.
One of our HCC students traveled to Philadelphia to see Francis. Jack McEnaney, Hutchinson, is passionate about the faith and is very involved in the Catholic community in Hutchinson.
“Usually when something great happens, there is a let-down at the end, and a sadness that takes over,”McEnaney said.
“Monday morning, when Pope Francis was back in Rome, the Philadelphia airport was like I’ve never seen. There were so many joy-filled people.”
Many non-Catholics were joyful about Francis’ visit. “I can’t tell you how many non-Catholic Christians I heard say, ‘I love our new Pope,’” he said.
Pope Francis gave energy to the United States and created interest in his message.
Even though Francis has returned to Rome, the energy remains, as if he were still here with us.