The Pope's Visit to the U.S. Recap Part 3Oct. 18th, 2015 4:32 pm
In the early morning, Pope Francis traveled from JFK airport in NYC to Philadelphia. He arrived around 9:30am and immediately traveled to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in downtown Philadelphia.
The pope touched on the topic of the challenges facing the Catholic Church in this generation, and how practicing Catholics can fulfill their responsibilities of sharing the word of the Lord.
This will require creativity in adapting to changed situations, carrying forward the legacy of the past not primarily by maintaining our structures and institutions, which have served us well, but above all by being open to the possibilities which the Spirit opens up to us and communicating the joy of the Gospel, daily and in every season of our life.
From there he traveled to Independence Hall and delivered a speech to about 50,000 people, using the same podium (that) Abraham Lincoln used to deliver the Gettysburg Address.
A people which remembers does not repeat past errors; instead, it looks with confidence to the challenges of the present and the future.
From there Pope Francis attended the Festival of Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which drew hundreds of thousands of people, all gathering together to speak about their faith.
Pope Francis started his final day in the U.S. with a Papal meeting with several U.S. Bishops at St. Martin's Chapel. From there he traveled to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, where he would meet with inmates, families, and staff of the prison. He then gave a speech to the inmates, to share hope and power.
From there the pope celebrated the closing mass at the World Festival of Families outside of the Philadelphia Art Museum, open to the public.
So we might ask ourselves: How are we trying to live this way in our homes, in our societies? What kind of world do we want to leave to our children? We cannot answer these questions alone, by ourselves. It is the Spirit who challenges us to respond as part of the great human family.
The pope traveled back to Atlantic Aviation where he paid his final visit to organizers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families. Pope Francis gave his final farewells, and took the trip back to the Vatican in Rome. Here are his final words:
As I leave, I ask all of you, especially the volunteers and benefactors who assisted with the World Meeting of Families: do not let your enthusiasm for Jesus, his Church, our families, and the broader family of society run dry. May our days together bear fruit that will last, generosity and care for others that will endure! Just as we have received so much from God -gifts freely given us, and not of our own making - so let us freely give to others in return.
Dear friends, I embrace all of you in the Lord and I entrust you to the maternal care of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States. I will pray for you and your families, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. May God bless you all. God bless America!