Pope Francis letter to the Popular Movements, Modesto, California, Feb 16 -19 – 2017

Press release with the message sent by Pope Francis to the participants of the World Meeting of Popular Movement – Regional USA.

Pope Francis Letter: SpanishEnglish

Nearly 700 Faith and Community Leaders from 12 Countries Kick Off Four-Day Meeting Tackling Racism, Immigration, Access to Jobs, Housing and Environmental Justice

In Keynote Remarks, Cardinal Peter Turkson Calls for End of Economy Of Exclusion

MODESTO, Calif. – The Vatican’s Cardinal Peter Turkson today will deliver a stirring address to 690 faith and community leaders from 12 countries, urging them to stand together to end the global economy of exclusion. The cardinal’s remarks come as part of the first U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements (WMPM), which runs February 16-19.

“People who have experienced economic and racial exclusion build community by sharing their stories and their hunger for change,” saidCardinal Turkson, prefect of the Vatican’s department for Integral Human Development (IHD). “They’re joined by others whose faith calls them into solidarity. In this way, the larger community is formed. This unity creates a new capacity to change the world and be the social poets that Pope Francis has called the Popular Movement Leaders.”

Organized by the IHD, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Catholic Campaign for Human Development and PICO National Network, the regional meeting is a follow-up to three larger international meetings held in Rome in Oct. 2014 and Nov. 2016 and Bolivia in July 2015. Each meeting was designed to deepen relationships between grassroots movements and the faith community.

“I am thankful the organizers of the World Meeting of Popular Movements understand the importance of the youth voice and have created a space at the table for my generation to weigh in on important issues,” said 18-year-oldAlfredo Acosta, a student at Sacramento’s Luther Burbank High School and a member of the community non-profit Brown Issues.

Pastor Trena Turner, Executive Director of Faith in the Valley, a member of PICO National Network, acknowledged that some undocumented immigrants who registered to participate in the conference decided that given the current climate, it was not safe for them to travel.

Contact: Jennifer Farmer, jfarmer@piconetwork.org202-306-0136

Video of the opening sessiona