Pope Francis will be visiting the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the final stop on his upcoming tour of Mexico in February, the Catholic Diocese of El Paso announced Saturday morning.
The papal will visit Cuidad Juarez during his final stop on Feb. 16, 2015. The visit is expected to shed a spotlight on the realities of living along both sides of the border, including the issues facing migrants and refugees fleeing the violence in their home countries.
The diocese is also working with local leaders in the El Paso/Juarez area about celebrating a Mass with Pope Francis at the border fence along Loop 375/César Chávez Highway.
Bishop Mark J. Seitz, D.D. released the following statement on Pope Francis’ visit to Juarez:
First I would like to wish everyone a happy Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas, who brings so much hope to the poor and those on the margins! I was thrilled to learn that the Holy See has chosen this very special feast day to officially announce Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico, which will conclude with a stop to Ciudad Juarez, our sister city, on Feb. 17, 2016. I wish to express my great excitement for the Mexican people to have this opportunity to welcome Pope Francis. Mexicans are well known for their special love and affection for our popes. And, we expect Pope Francis’s upcoming visit, to elicit much of this same type of affection, especially given that he is the first Latin American pope.