As the 2016 election season heats up, Liberals are eager for Francis to speak boldly on immigration, income inequality, and the environment. Conservatives, though increasingly uneasy with what they see as his leftward bent, are still counting on Francis to stick with them in opposing abortion, birth control and same sex marriage.
Francis caused a stir in June with the long awaited publication of his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, in which he write, "The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish."
In anticipation of the Pope's visit, the Archdioceses of Washington launched Walk with Francis to encourage Washingtonians to welcome the Pope by following his examples of prayer and service.
On Sunday, September 13, 50 students from Catholic University of America heeded the words of Laudato Si quite literally, removing over a thousands pounds of"filth"and "rubbish" from the " beautiful landscape" of Shepherd Parkway.
The hillside along Lebaum Street has long been one of the most polluted areas of Shepherd Parkway, and we've focused more time there than anywhere else over the past four years. It is also one of the steepest, most treacherous areas to work, but the CUA students scaled the incline fearlessly.
At the Committee to Restore Shepherd Parkway, being "protectors of God's creation" is what we are all about. We pray that the Pope's historic visit to the United States will inspire many others to take up the call.