Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis' Enduring Images

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis' Enduring Images

Article excerpt

Did you hear that the pope was in the United States recently?

News coverage of this historic trip was so pervasive that a Facebook friend posted this request to fellow journalists following Pope Francis around the East Coast: "If any of you happen to see the pope walk into a bar with a rabbi and a Buddhist monk, please let me know."

Well, as far as we know, he did not walk into a bar. But he did walk into the U.S. Capitol, and he did walk into the United Nations.

He also walked into a prison, and a church where people without homes were being fed. He walked into a room with the Little Sisters of the Poor, and he walked Speaker John Boehner out of the House (in more ways than one, it turns out).

It was a remarkable week. If you were following the events, from Cuba to Philadelphia, on, you didn't see stories about bobblehead sales or security zones. Our reporters captured the pope's every move, giving you not only the highlights of Francis' many speeches and homilies, but also a deep perspective that could be written only by men and women who have been observing this papacy and the church as a whole for many years.

I asked some of the NCR reporters who covered the pope's trip to describe one image of the week that has stayed with them.

Vatican correspondent Joshua J. McElwee, who started with Francis in Cuba and stuck with him for the next eight days, had a hard time coming up with just one. Josh said he was especially struck by the fact that the pope, in his address to Congress, evoked the name of Catholic Worker co-founder and social activist Dorothy Day

"Dorothy Day would never, ever in a million years be able to address Congress," Josh said. "And he basically dragged her in there, and spoke for her."

Philadelphia freelance writer Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans was moved by the emotion that spread over the faces of those who lined the streets to see Francis, especially the Latinos. …

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