Sister Johnice accompanies Congressman Brian Higgins to Pope Francis Address to Congress.
Sister Mary Johnice C.S.S.F. Director of the Response to Love Center was one of the local leaders to attend the Papal Visit and Address to Congress on September 24, 2015.
“Being there in Congress was the most electrifying experience for me, just seeing everyone there, the senators, the congressmen, the diplomats, the president, they all were there.” said Sister Johnice. “And as I looked out, I really prayed, prayed for unity and that if we would listen to the message of the Holy Father, that we would be able to not leave the message there in the chamber but to take that message back home.”
Sister Johnice made the trip to Washington D.C. to represent the social ministry of the Diocese of Buffalo. Additionally, during her two day trip she attended the canonization of St. Junipero Serra, with the event being the first such canonization in the United States. Junipero Serra a Franciscan missionary is also the first U.S. Hispanic saint.
Pope Francis mentioned the importance of accepting and embracing foreigners. “It really taught me to reflect as I’m going back home to embrace (those from another country) with that acceptance, love and compassion that the Holy Father spoke of so beautifully,” said Sister Johnice. “He gave me a beautiful message of peace.”