Joys and Hopes, Grief and Anguish

Pope Francis is coming to Philadelphia.


Every bench in the park in front of the cathedral is a bed for the homeless.

“The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well” (Gaudium et spes 1).

The Vicar of Christ comes to the city.

Papal Banner SloveniaStreet lamps are festooned with banners with the sayings of Pope Francis.

A thousand security cameras are installed along Ben Franklin Parkway.

In honor of the pope’s visit, Father Bob Simon of Scranton Diocese spends a year constructing a miniature Saint Peter’s Basilica out of Legos.

Lego Vatican Closeup
Franklin Institute — Father Bob Simon, A Priest as Minifigure Contemplating the Splendor of the Vatican, 2015

Artist Meg Saligman erects a participatory work of art, “Mercy and Justice: Undoing the Knots,” inviting passersby to share a burden of their own and help loosen the burden of another.

Mary Undoer of Knots AM

Mary Undoer Wigwam
Two views of Meg Saligman, Mercy and Justice: Undoing the Knots, outside of the Catholic cathedral in Philadelphia

“Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts” (GS 1).

Franklin Entrance Panorama
Franklin Institute of Science with banners announcing the exhibit, Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art

Evergreen Exhibitions mounts an exhibit of Vatican art and artifacts.

Endless Summer Productions abandons a plan to rent temporary overnight lots in Fairmont Park for papal visitors at exorbitant rates, for lack of interest.

The archdiocese makes final preparations to welcome the pope to the World Meeting of Families.

LGBT-friendly Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church mounts a peaceful protest outside the cathedral to turn the heart and mind of Archbishop Chaput from his endorsement of conversion therapy (the attempt to change homosexual orientation).

Metropolitan Community Flowers
Flowers left on the steps of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia by members of the Whosoever Metropolitan Community Church

Prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility prepare for the pope’s visit.

“For theirs is a community of people united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit in their pilgrimage towards the Father’s kingdom, bearers of a message of salvation for all of humanity. That is why they cherish a feeling of deep solidarity with the human race and history” (GS 1).

Papal Banner 2015

Photos by Brother Charles

4 thoughts on “Joys and Hopes, Grief and Anguish

  1. tywoniak says:

    Beautifully done, Br. Charles! Your pictures and text wonderfully demonstrate the incredibly diverse impact the Pontiff’s visit is having, not only on us in the U.S., but throughout the entire world. Many thanks!


  2. Carole Swain says:

    Thank you Br. Charles for reminding us of the complexities of human life and the “Power of Hope” that Pope Francis brings. He is giving the world a “Human and Christian Education” that is central to our Brothers’ vows.


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