PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pope Francis will bless a 5-foot-tall wooden cross especially important to Hispanics when he visits Independence Hall.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says the Sept. 26 blessing of the Cross of the Encuentros will symbolize the journey of faith of Hispanic and Latino Catholics in the United States.
Encuentros is Spanish for meetings or encounters. Catholic officials say the cross will be taken to dioceses across the country as a symbol of an ongoing national pastoral movement called Encuentro, which has spurred Hispanic ministry in the country.
The movement includes a three-year process of missionary activity, consultation, leadership development and pastoral discernment in parishes, dioceses and episcopal regions.