Pope says Paraguayans in poor barrio remind him of Holy Family

Categories: Latest News

July 12, 2015

Pope Francis greets an elderly woman as he meets with people of Banado Norte, a poor neighborhood in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-BANADO July 12, 2015.

Pope Francis greets an elderly woman as he meets with people of Banado Norte, a poor neighborhood in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

ASUNCION, Paraguay (CNS) — Pope Francis returned to his roots July 12 when he visited Banado Norte, a poor neighborhood near the Paraguay River where residents battle seasonal flooding and face possible eviction.

“I couldn’t be in Paraguay without being with you, in your land,” he told the crowd gathered outside St. John the Baptist chapel, one of 13 chapels in the huge Holy Family Parish. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis ministered in similar neighborhoods.

Bishops in Paraguay had wanted the pope to meet with small farmers and indigenous people who have been forced off their land. When those groups were invited instead to a larger meeting with civic organizations, the bishops organized the visit to Banado Norte, one of a string of riverside neighborhoods called the Banados, which were mainly settled by migrants from rural areas.

Read more in The Visitor…