2015-09-23 / Front Page

Welcome Pope Francis!

The pope’s visit to New York is being met with great anticipation.

Pope Francis will be arriving in New York City on September 24 and 25. His first stop here will be St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where he will lead the evening prayer; he will also address the General Assembly at the United Nations; attend a multi-religious meeting for peace at the 9/11 Memorial Museum; travel via motorcade through Central Park; culminating in the Mass he will celebrate at Madison Square Garden.

The pope’s six-day trip to Washington, DC, New York, and Philadelphia is being treated as a major event by United States government leaders and local elected officials.

Argentinian by birth and upbringing by Italian immigrant parents, Pope Francis is the first pope ever from the Americas, (and the first non-European pope in around 1,300 years). He is also the first pontiff ever to come from South America.

There are currently 1.5 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens – who share a diocese, as well as 186 parishes and 211 churches. At its inception, the Diocese of Brooklyn was created in 1853 mostly to address the needs of the more than five million Irish Catholic immigrants who came to New York with few resources. As it stands now, the Diocese of Brooklyn is home to a new immigrant population led mostly by Hispanics.

Because Brooklyn and Queens have diverse and multicultural populations, Masses are regularly held in 33 different languages within the counties, while 26 ethnic ministries promote cultural events and opportunities for immigrants in search of a larger community. The very word Catholic means “universal” and “allembracing,” and it is therefore no surprise all of New York, including the borough of Queens, looks forward to the papal visit.

Locally, each church and school is celebrating the papal visit in a special way, and so we encourage our Queens Catholic churches to share with us how they welcomed the papal visit.—AnaĆ© Petito

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