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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis meets with students, immigrant families in East Harlem

Pope Francis received a rock star welcome as he made his way to the School of Our Lady of Queens of Angels in East Harlem. Teenagers lined the streets with their cell phones ready to take a close up shot of the Pope or even better, a selfie. Inside, students from four local New York schools gave him a warm welcome with a song. Then they shared with him some projects they're working on about protecting the environment.  Then, the Pope walked to a different section of the school, where he was welcomed by immigrants who receive help from Catholic Charities.  Two day laborers gave the Pope a hard hat and construction belt and shared a few words with him.  "We do construction work day in and day out to feel like, we too are doing our part here in the U.S.â? The Pope gave a short speech, where he reminded everyone that even though it's difficult to learn a new language and new culture, the important thing is to begin.  POPE FRANCIS "It's not easy to start anew and find a home, neighbors and friends. It's not easy, but one must start.â?  In the highs and lows of life, the Pope reminded the immigrants that dreams and joy come from Jesus. Echoing the words of Martin Luther King, he said everyone has a right to dream.  POPE FRANCIS "Martin Luther King, one day said 'I have a dream.' He wished for children and for people to have equal opportunities. He dreamed that many children, just like you, could have access to education. He hoped that men and women like you could stand up tall with dignity, and earn a living.â? Then, he gave the crowd some homework, asking everyone to pray for him, so that he as Pope, could share the joy of Jesus with as many people as possible.  KLH  CTV VM -BN Up:AC