Like many in the U.S., Pope Francis is traveling during this Fourth of July weekend. His journey is just beginning though.
Pope Francis’ trip to three Latin American countries will “put him in touch with his Jesuit roots” and include time with people often on the margins of society. The Catholic Sun, via Catholic News Service, reported on his itinerary when the Vatican released it nearly two months ago.
He departs Rome at midnight for us here in the Diocese of Phoenix. South Americans in Ecuador will greet him first — and hopefully some Xavier College Preparatory students who are there for service work — followed by Bolivia and Paraguay.
Ecuadoreans are ready. Ramon Guato, a well-known sculptor of religious figures in that country, prepared about 2,000 figures to be sold at Catholic libraries ahead of the papal trip. The vendors are out and the welcome poster is up.
Want to follow Pope Francis on his apostolic journey? Here are some suggestions:
- @CatholicNewsSvc and three of its reporters who are on the beat: @Barbara_Fraser, @CNS_Rhina and @Cindy_Wooden.
- @cnalive has reporters in Ecuador too.
Pew Research Center gives you a clear and quick low-down on Pope Francis and South America… how widespread Catholicism is in the countries he will visit, geographically where they are, how the nations in general (the non-Catholics too) view him, and how those nations feel about social inequality.
- #popeinecuador may get you a variety of languages in its results, but a variety of viewpoints as well. If you prefer Spanish, try #FranciscoenEcuador, #FranciscoenEC or follow @FranciscoenEC.
- GatorsGoGlobal blog. It’s written with the perfect amount of text/photo ratio and is in a very relatable tone. We would expect nothing less coming from nine Catholic high school girls. Be sure to read about their adventures shopping for papal gear. Scroll toward bottom. They probably found the best deal ever on papal merchandise.
By the way, if you missed it, 12 News captured the girls’ thoughts a few weeks ago before they left.
@PapaEnBolivia might be worth a follow too, if you understand Spanish to a certain degree.
- CNS’ Rhina sent out the first #popeinparaguay Tweet today. It gives you a peek at the altar and what it’s made of. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass outside the Caacupe Marian shrine in Paraguay July 11 and in the field at Nu Guazu Park July 12.
- This account promises updates from the perspective of a pilgrim in Paraguay.
- The New York Times ran a story today about Pope Francis in Latin America.
Don’t be surprised if you see something on CNN either. One of the network’s documentary reporters is working on a piece about people — including those Xavier girls — going to South America to see the pope. I’m fairly sure it’s not the same reporter, but here’s a CNN piece written ahead of Pope Francis’ trip to South America.