St. Patrick Parish
Visit to the Catholic Charities Center and meeting with the homeless
The first word I wish to say to you is “Thank you.” Thank you for welcoming me and for your efforts to make this meeting possible.
Here I think of a person whom I love, someone who is, and has been, very important throughout my life. He has been a support and an inspiration. He is the one I go to whenever I am “in a fix”. You make me think of Saint Joseph. Your faces remind me of his.
Amid the smiles, photo-ops and patriotic music at the White House meeting between Pope Francis and President Barack Obama today, the pope made three important points in his short speech.
Standing on the South Lawn in front of some 15,000 invited guests, the pope first delivered an endorsement of the U.S. bishops’ concern for religious liberty and their fight to “preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.”
Pope Francis’ Address at Welcome Ceremony
The White House South Lawn, Washington
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all Americans. As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families. I look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue, in which I hope to listen to, and share, many of the hopes and dreams of the American people.
During my visit I will have the honor of addressing Congress, where I hope, as a brother of this country, to offer words of encouragement to those called to guide the nation’s political future in fidelity to its founding principles. I will also travel to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this, a critical moment in the history of our civilization.
John Thavis is a journalist, author and speaker specializing in Vatican and religious affairs. He is known in the trade as a “Vaticanista,” a calling that became clear only after a circuitous career path.
Thavis grew up in Minnesota, attending Catholic schools and graduating from St. John’s University in 1973. After studying classical languages, he went to Italy as a student of archeology in 1977, fell in love with the country and decided to stay. In 1978, the day Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the Red Brigades, he walked into the offices of the Rome Daily American and was hired as a headline writer, eventually becoming news editor.