Francis in the United States

Where were the women when Pope Francis arrived in the United States?

Commentary -  Were you not, like me, proud the first five U.S. citizens Pope Francis greeted as he stepped off his Alitalia flight from Havana were African-American? On U.S. soil for the first time, the pope met President Barack Obama; his wife, Michelle; their daughters, Malia and Sasha; and Michelle's mother, Marian Robinson. How society has changed.

Five U.S. sisters Pope Francis should meet while he’s here

On his six-day swing through three East Coast cities this week, Pope Francis will be warmly welcomed by diplomats, members of Congress and princes of the church. The young and the marginalized so close to his heart and mind — homeless men and women, prisoners, students — are also prominent on his itinerary. But because the pope's stay will be short, he may not have the opportunity to spend significant time with many of the religious women whose grit and compassion power many local ministries and institutions in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. We talked to six sisters who we suggest he would do well to meet with.

My 'pope hope' is still high

I was sitting in my office watching a video on my computer screen — tears welling up in my eyes. The video hadn’t even really started yet. I was just watching the promo clips. It was the footage of the 20/20 special with Pope Francis that aired on ABC over Labor Day weekend ("Pope Francis and the People"). My reaction surprised me. I hadn’t seen or heard the pope say anything yet. But I was deeply touched. Why?

A pope for all people

St. Teresa of Avila, a Carmelite Sister who lived from 1515 to 1582, describes prayer as “looking at God looking at me.” I believe this is the goal of all spirituality — whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist — to see others, our world and ourselves with the eyes of God. There are a few extraordinary people who inspire us to see as God sees.

Sister advocate for homeless in Philadelphia lives the church Pope Francis envisions

If the Vatican were looking for someone who models the kind of church Pope Francis envisions, it would be difficult to do better than Mercy Sr. Mary Scullion, a North Philadelphia icon, founder of Project HOME and fierce, if jovial, advocate for the city’s poor and homeless for the past 40 years. The mention of Francis recently brought a huge smile to Scullion, who was asked by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to head up the Committee on Hunger and Homelessness for the Sept. 22-25 World Meeting of Families. Pope Francis speaks a language — about the margins, about the need for the church to get out of the sanctuary, about the art of accompaniment — that has defined Scullion’s life and ministry since 1976.