[NEWS] S. Mary: ‘What are you going to do?’ Pope Francis’ plea must drive Philly to help our most vulnerable
Sister Mary's latest column in Billy Penn:
There were months of build-up, then two intense and amazing days, and now the papal visit of 2015 to Philadelphia is history. But most Philadelphians, I believe, are still feeling a deep sense of inspiration and uplift from the experience of this truly amazing visitor, Pope Francis.
We witnessed his personal acts of mercy — his time with persons in a homeless shelter in Washington, DC; his gathering with prisoners here in Philadelphia; his outreach to and advocacy for immigrants; his embrace of persons with disabilities, his sweet welcome of children.
We heard his challenge – to build truly inclusive communities, especially with those on the margins; to use our political system to work for the common good; to resist the false gods of wealth and materialism; to build true justice with dignity for those who are poor.
One of the moments from the visit that left the strongest make on me was Pope Francis’s homily at the Basilica at the beginning of his Philadelphia visit on Saturday morning. He built his reflections around the question: “What about you? What are you going to do?” Those are the questions that are lingering with me in the wake of the papal visit. And they are urgent questions. The Pope is back in Rome, and the struggles and needs of our city are still with us. Countless people in our community are still suffering from poverty, addiction, homelessness, abuse and violence.