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CHICAGO, IL --(Marketwired - December 12, 2015) - Catholic Extension announced today that it will be working with the Diocese of El Paso to plan events surrounding Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the U.S-Mexico border. Catholic Extension has an extensive history of providing support to the U.S. border dioceses that are struggling to serve growing Catholic populations in some of the poorest areas of the country. Pope Francis' plan to celebrate Mass at the border is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from both the U.S. and Mexico and will be a significant milestone of the trip's itinerary. The details of the liturgy are being finalized and will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Catholic Extension is a papal society founded in 1905 that supports poor mission dioceses on the margins of society headquartered in Chicago.
"We hope that in a special way, Pope Francis' visit to this region will give voice to these often voiceless people here on the border, especially children and families who are the most vulnerable. And we hope that his presence will facilitate a much-needed national dialogue that will help unite our own country around a compassionate response to the poor in our midst," said The Most Reverend Mark Seitz, Bishop of El Paso. "We are also very grateful to Catholic Extension for being an integral partner in this milestone event and whose longstanding support of all mission dioceses helps us bring hope and faith to the marginalized."
Catholic Extension has supported the Diocese of El Paso for more than 100 years and views the upcoming event as an enormous moment in history for the Catholic Church.
"We are excited about the Holy Father's plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, where so many of the faithful will welcome him and be inspired by his profound message of mercy and hope," said Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension. "Having worked closely with the dioceses on the U.S. side of the border for many years, Catholic Extension is pleased to be lending its assistance, resources and expertise to help Bishop Seitz and the El Paso diocese with the planning for this momentous event. We look forward to being of help in fulfilling Pope Francis' dream of visiting the border, and know that his presence will shine a warm and loving glow on all 'the joys and the hopes and the griefs and the anxieties' the people -- and the Church -- are experiencing there."
For more information on Catholic Extension please visit www.catholicextension.org. For more details on activities and events being planned by the Diocese of El Paso, please visit www.elpasodiocese.org.
About Catholic Extension: Catholic Extension is a papal society that makes visible the power of faith in America's most marginalized communities by strategically investing in people, infrastructure and ministries. Since its founding in 1905, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $1.2 billion in today's dollars to provide funding and resources to dioceses and parishes that cannot support themselves. For more information visit www.catholicextension.org; follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/catholicextension or Twitter at @CathExtension.