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Catholic Schools, The Vatican

Harlem students, principals prepare to welcome the Holy Father

  • OSV Staff, OSV Newsweekly
  • |
  • September 04 2015
CNS photo/Bob Roller

When Pope Francis visits New York City Sept. 24-26, one of his stops will be at Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem. Our Sunday Visitor recently spoke with a handful of students and their principals about the upcoming meeting.

Hope Mueller l St. Ann School, principal

What do you hope Pope Francis learns about your school?

“I hope that he sees what great work is being done in the Catholic schools in the archdiocese, but especially in these inner-city schools and the mission that we all have as educators here and the joy that our students have for their faith.”

Maziya Clemente l St. Ann School, 8 years old, fourth grade

What would you say to him?

“I’d say, ‘How does it feel being the pope, and why did you sell your motorcycle?’”

Essa Nahshal l St. Charles Borromeo, 7 years old, third grade

How do you feel about meeting Pope Francis?

“I’m happy. I would jump out the window if I could!”

Farida Mintoumba l St. Charles Borromeo, 8 years old, fourth grade

If you got to talk to him, what would you say?

“I’d tell him about our project. It’s about thanking God for land, water and air, because if we didn’t have these things, we wouldn’t be here.”

Aleeya Francis l St. Charles Borromeo, principal

What does it say that he’s visiting inner-city schools?

“Coming into the inner city lets us know that every single person, every single child matters. It’s not just those people who we tend to put higher up on pedestals but those people who live the simple life. They mean just as much as anyone else, they contribute just as much, they affect our world just as much.”

Pedro Hernandez l Our Lady Queen of Angels School, 8 years old, third grade

What would you ask the pope?

“I would ask him why does he help the poor a lot?

Anything else?

“To pray for me.”

Joanne Walsh l Our Lady Queen of Angels School, principal

What do you hope Pope Francis takes away from visiting your school?

“That he will leave feeling confident and affirmed and happy that Catholic education is alive, it’s strong, it’s well, and the mission of the Church, in terms of Catholic education, is continuing in the United States of America.”


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