Pope Francis’ Visit to Juarez

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Some of the crowd at the Sun Bowl Photo from Twitter
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Pope Francis enters Juarez’s El Punto in his Popemobile.
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A TV shot

Hi everyone! I hope your Wednesday was great! I had a long and busy 12-hour day! I’m extremely grateful for having the opportunity to see the Pope’s open air mass. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat. I considered going to Juarez but it was already too late. I would’ve needed the press credentials several weeks ago. I was fortunate enough to receive press credentials for two parks in El Paso yesterday. There wasn’t a lot of action when I showed up between 8:30 and 9 a.m. I decided to leave and spend my day at the University of Texas-El Paso’s Sun Bowl instead.

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Matachines (Native Mexican Indian dancers) danced and performed on the UTEP football field. 

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I had a great time observing the people at the Sun Bowl. People were extremely humble and excited to watch Pope Francis live from Juarez. I had the opportunity to walk around and join around 28,000 for some live performances and a two-hour mass. The performances included Tigua Indian Dancers, mariachis from El Paso’s Bowie High School, matachines (Native Indian dancers from Mexico) and religious musicians. A headline performer for the viewing party was Tony Melendez. Melendez overcame a lot of adversity in his life. He was born without hands or arms. He is a musician who sings and plays the guitar with his feet. His music and story were uplifting to listen to.

Pope Francis had a very busy day today. Today was the last day of his five-day trip to Mexico. Besides Juarez, he visited Mexico City, Chiapas and Morelia/Michoacan. Prior to the afternoon mass, he visited Juarez’s Colegio de Bachilleres (a public high school) and Cereso Prison. After he took a break, he gathered and blessed around 500 immigrants along the US-Mexico border and Rio Grande.

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Pope Francis along the U.S.-Mexican border and Rio Grande Levee. Photo from Twitter.

The mass was beautiful and made me tear up from time to time. The Pontiff said it was OK to cry and let out all of the pain and hurt one encounters in life. Juarez has encountered its share of pain in recent years due to the drug wars and bloodshed. The Pope said these problems need to stop. Pope Francis’ main theme of the afternoon mass was change is always possible at anytime. It’s up to each individual to do it with a plan of action. He said one should always forgive and love their enemies. He would also like for El Paso and the world to continue praying for Juarez. About an hour after the mass, he flew back to Vatican City.

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31 comments

  1. They gave me a press pass but to Scenic drive and Tom Lea Park but I left. You can tell them you have a blog and want to cover their event. They may or may not let you attend. Well you can attend but this is so you don’t pay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went with my Mom yesterday. She really wanted to go. It’s not really my kind of thing but I didn’t want her to go alone. It was an interesting experience and it was cool to see people being kind to each other but I wouldn’t go again. I’m gonna post about it later. Might offend some people but meh. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you took advantage of the opportunity to go, Lisa! It may have been a long day, but it sounds like it was a special one that you won’t forget any time soon. Thanks for documenting it for us! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh wow! What an event! Unforgettable for sure. I remember when Pope John Paul II visited Liechtenstein in 1985. He celebrated an open-air mass for the youth. I was part of a choir back than and fortunate to even sing at that event. Unforgettable too!

    Liked by 1 person

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