Pope moved by photo of ‘parked’ homeless

Pope Francis referred to this photo of homeless people getting settled in a temporary parking lot shelter in Las Vegas (CNS/Steve Marcus, Reuters)

During his live-streamed daily morning Mass yesterday, Pope Francis prayed that the coronavirus pandemic may awaken people’s consciences to the plight of homeless men and women suffering in the world. Source: Crux.

By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS via Crux.

At the start of Mass in the chapel at his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Pope said he was struck by a photo in a local newspaper of “homeless people lying in a parking lot under observation” that “highlight so many hidden problems” in the world.

The picture that Pope Francis apparently referred to was published April 2 by the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero that showed a temporary shelter for the homeless in an outdoor parking lot in Las Vegas.

According to an April 1 report in The New York Times, city officials chose to house the homeless in a parking lot despite that fact that thousands of hotel rooms in Las Vegas are empty.

The shelter was set up due to the temporary closing of a Catholic Charities shelter after a homeless man tested positive for COVID-19. However, city officials said the Catholic Charities shelter is expected to be reopened today, The Times reported.

“There are so many homeless people today,” the Pope said. “We ask St Teresa of Kolkata to awaken in us a sense of closeness to so many people in society who, in everyday life, live hidden but, like the homeless, in the moment of the crisis, are living in this way.”

In his homily, the Pope reflected on the day’s reading from the Book of Genesis and the Gospel of St. John. Both readings focused on the figure of Abraham and God’s covenant with him.

The Pope said that God’s promise to make Abraham the father of many nations highlights “the election, the promise and the covenant,” which are “the three dimensions of the life of faith, the three dimensions of Christian life.”

“Each one of us is elected; no one chooses to be a Christian among all the possibilities that the religious ‘market’ has to offer; he or she is elected. We are Christians because we have been chosen. In this election, there is a promise, a promise of hope, a sign of fruitfulness,” he explained.


Amid COVID pandemic, pope prays for homeless, cites newspaper photo (Crux)

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