Houston woman to be in-house as Pope Francis addresses Congress

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87 year-old Ramona Toliver has spent her life helping others.  Now, she's receiving the experience of a lifetime: a chance to see Pope Francis when he addresses Congress.

“If I shake his hand I think I would faint.  I would love to shake his hand,” says Toliver, who literally has one of the best seats in the house. 

She will accompany Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and sit in the House chamber.  Several people stepped in to pay for her flight, hotel room, and expenses. 

A retired teacher, Toliver serves on the Board of Directors of Target Hunger, one of Houston's largest food distributors to hungry seniors and families. She also works with her parish, Our Mother Mercy Catholic Church, to help the underserved. 

“You look at somebody lying on the street, or standing in line for groceries, you need to say, ‘that could be me,’ that's how I  feel about it,” says Toliver. 

She fights against poverty in her own back yard, and thinks this Pope has the right message for America: “Maybe after hearing him, people will look around and say ‘let me do this,’ or ‘let me do that,’ and it may make them feel a little better about themselves, and about what we think we should do.” 

Mrs. Toliver wishes to thank: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, John Simon, Sharon and Bruno Asinelli, Robert Crane, Jeffrey Latson, and Our Mother Mercy Catholic Church for their generosity in making the trip possible.