The Great Pilgrimage to New York City

The Great Pilgrimage to New York City

The Great Pilgrimage to New York City to See Pope Francis

Despite excessive security and main street closures, many New Yorkers gladly embraced Pope Francis’ visit to New York City and tried to catch a glimpse of the Pontiff no matter their religion.

TriBeCa resident Andrea Kiefer, 57, says that though she is not a Catholic, he is a figure of equality and fairness and, “for some this is the closest step to seeing God.”

David Haynes, 44, who commuted by subway from the Bronx to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for saying that though he is not Catholic, he appreciates that the Pope has reached out to the U.S.’s poorer communities and “has become a symbol of charity and goodness.”

For some religious New Yorkers, this was the chance of a lifetime that simply could not be missed. Devout Catholic, Kathleen Sanichara, 56, from the Bronx waited hours in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral so that she could be a part of the festivities, saying that she was just hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope and a small blessing. Brooklynite, Joel Galang, 23 commuted into the city via Citi Bike for this historic event, saying that he is a “recovering Catholic” having lost his faith many times while in the military, but that Pope Francis has renewed his devotion through his inclusionary stances. Galang says, “He’s inspired me and today will be the milestone of my faith.”

For others in the crowd, the Pope’s presence called for a much farther commute than a trip on the subway. Danny Worthington, 32, from Warner Robbins, Georgia, was one of the many out-of-towners to line up on 5th Avenue before the St. Patrick’s Evening Prayer. A practicing Catholic, Worthington says Pope Francis is, “a symbol of reform within the church and embodies the Catholic religion.” **This was a rare chance to see the Pope, and he wasn’t going to miss his chance.

This huge event beckoned people from the other states as well as other countries. Fresh from visiting the Pope during his stay in Rio de Janeiro, Christina Prieto, 24, visiting from Mexico City, says the Pope makes her, “forget all the bad things and just remember all the good people in the world who want to make a change. He gives me hope.”

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