Central Falls mayor invited to attend Pope Francis' White House arrival ceremony
James A. Diossa, R.I.'s first Latino mayor, honored to help welcome Catholic church's first Latino pope.
By John Hill, Journal Staff Writer
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. — Mayor James A. Diossa has been invited to participate in the White House ceremony welcoming Pope Francis when he arrives for a five-day visit to the United States on Wednesday morning, Diossa’s office announced Monday.
Rhode Island’s first Latino mayor, Diossa said he was looking forward to taking part in welcoming the Catholic church’s first Latino pope to the United States. Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis served as that city’s archbishop of Buenos Aires before being elected pope in 2013.
“It is an honor to be invited by the President to welcome Pope Francis to the United States at the White House,” Dioss said in a prepared statement. “We have witnessed so much inspiration already from Pope Francis, from his humility to his tackling of corruption to his concern for low-income people and social justice.
“As a practicing Catholic, this will be an amazing opportunity to reflect on our community of Central Falls with the spiritual leader of our generation,” Diossa added.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. The pope’s schedule calls for him to visit Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia before returning to Rome Sunday evening.
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