Post-Francis Philly: PCHR papal reflections

papal_indy_hall_092615The landmark World Meeting of Families 2015, paired with the historic visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia, transformed this city into a global village on a far larger scale than usual.

People of different languages, cultures and countries brimmed from street corners throughout Center City, culminating in the final Mass featuring tens of thousands on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway that Sunday, led by the charismatic pontiff.

These visitors from Angola were among the many in town for the World Meeting of Families and words from Pope Francis.

These visitors from Angola were among the many in town for the World Meeting of Families and words from Pope Francis.

But beyond the pope, Team PCHR engaged with a cross-section of humanity, as ambassadors, aides and observers of one of the largest events the city – indeed, the nation – has seen.

Deputy Director Randy Duque caught a rare sighting of members of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, from Fairmount's Chapel of Divine Love, Nicknamed the "Pink Sisters," this cloistered order mostly remains indoors in deep contemplation.  The papal visit served as a cherry atop their 100th anniversary celebration.

Deputy Director Randy Duque caught a rare sighting of members of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, from Fairmount’s Chapel of Divine Love, Nicknamed the “Pink Sisters,” this cloistered order mostly remains indoors in deep contemplation. The papal visit served as a cherry atop their 100th anniversary celebration.

PCHR members were among those mingling with the crowds, taking the temperature of residents and visitors alike. Some, such as Commissioner Sarah Ricks, blogged about it. Others, such as Deputy Director Randy Duque, were working as volunteers on behalf of the city, in the heart of it all. Others still, such as Commissioner Marshall E. Freeman took the opportunity to wade through the crowds and make connections.

For more evidence, watch this great clip of the commissioner in action, speaking with a group of nuns after Pope Francis addressed the world from Independence Mall. 

Philadelphia definitely was transformed by the moment, and PCHR intends to keep that renewed spirit of peaceful brotherhood and sisterhood going, in the weeks, months and years to come.

“It didn’t matter your faith or persuasion,” said Executive Director Rue Landau. “This was a great event for the city, bringing us together in front of the world. We got a chance to show who we really are and can be.”

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