“On his six-day visit to the United States, Francis is heeding the warning that was whispered to him by a Brazilian cardinal just moments before Francis was elected pope: ‘Don’t forget the poor.’”
Lolita who has live in Catholic Charities shelter for over a year spoke to The Times about the historic visit, “The pope cares,” she said, “and that’s what really matters.”
After his much-anticipated remarks to Congress, Pope Francis traveled a short distance from under the shadow of the Capitol to address the plight of Washington’s homeless at St. Patrick’s Church, and to bless a meal and visit with those who are without a place to live.
According to the NY Times.
NJ Advance Media interviewed Members of Congress representing New Jersey and constituents who were at the Pope’s speech to Congress earlier that same day.
“Pope Francis has captured the imagination of the world.”
“We can find no social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing,” the pope said, speaking in Spanish with an interpreter at the church. He urged the homeless to turn toward prayer for strength, and he beseeched those with means to remember them.
“We know that Jesus wanted to show solidarity with every person,” he said.
“Buen appetito,” he told the eaters before a meal of chicken and pasta.
He spoke of giving hope to those in need to individuals such as Latiha Bussie. “She’s now working to get a college degree and lives in permanent supportive housing, but Bussie says for most of her life, she was an alcoholic and an addict and homeless. She took her first drink when she was 5 years old. Now she’s 36. She says at this point in her life, she expected to be dead, not seeing a pope.”
The Pope reminded the audience that Jesus was homeless when he first came into the world.