Pope Francis' first ever trip to the U.S. even had satirical news outlets like The Onion putting their unique spin on this historic papal visit.
hilarious photo from The Onion
But on a slightly more serious note, the pope's time in the U.S. was monumental, and the media was there to inform the public every step of the way. Major outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN had whole sections of their websites dedicated to the occasion and stories across the web ranged from Black Lives Matter to the societal implications of marriage to animal rights. Out of the abundance of stories, this is what stuck out to me over six days, from 12 different news outlets, using 12 different kinds of digital storytelling. This is what they're saying about Pope Francis.
September 22, 2015 The pope officially landed on U.S, soil, and Time Magazine laid out his entire itinerary so the world knew what Francis would be up to:
"The first stop on the multi-city tour is Tuesday in the nation’s capital, where President Obama will meet His Holiness when he lands at Joint Base Andrews. From there he’ll participate in a welcoming ceremony at the White House, canonize Junípero Serra at the National Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and address a joint session of Congress. Then he’ll head off to New York and Philadelphia, where he’ll speak at the Sept. 11 memorial and conduct a mass at the World Meeting of the Families, respectively."
People Magazine captured the giddy preparation for #PopeInDC through the Instagram feeds of White House staff and Michelle Obama herself:
A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on
September 23, 2015
On the day that Pope Francis shook hands with President Obama, The New York Timeslooked at how the humanitarian qualities of the popular pontiff could bridge divides by gauging what people of all different faith identities thought about his visit in a longer form piece:
"Two years after his papacy began, Francis—the pontiff with the common touch and the tolerant embrace—is a lodestar to both the spiritual and secular worlds, a celebrity to those who admire his warmth and a rudder to those who share his concerns about climate change and social justice."
For those who did not have time to sift through articles on the pope's arrival, Politico put together a photo gallery with everything you needed to know.
September 24, 2015
When Pope Francis addressed congress, the media was all over it with live tweets, video clips and full-text versions of his speech being published. In addition to the expected, several news outlets took a more creative approach.
Foreign Policyprofiled the people that the pope mentioned in his speech that were less well known, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton:
"But in an unexpected twist, his speech also asked American lawmakers to search for inspiration in the works of two lesser-known and far less celebrated Americans: Dorothy Day, the socialist founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, and Thomas Merton, a hermit, poet, and Catholic monk."
The Milwaukee TV news channel, Fox 6 Now, tied the pope's message into a local context, featuring a group of students from Marquette University:
"Pope Francis challenged America Thursday to... join a global campaign against climate change and poverty, wading undaunted into the nation's volatile politics in a historic address to Congress. Following that address, Pope Francis passed on lunch with lawmakers, and opted instead to help serve lunch to some of Washington, D.C.'s homeless. This act of compassion and service inspired some in Wisconsin to follow in the same path."
September 25, 2015
As Pope Francis spoke to the United Nations General Assembly, CNN Opinions made a nice little list about how the pontiff's views challenge people:
"Why does Pope Francis stir respect, even love, in the hearts of millions, including non-Catholics? Like other Christians, I look to Francis for spiritual leadership. Here are 10 reasons why so many of us admire this pontiff, and why his examples set a moral challenge for us."
Rolling Stonereported another exciting development in the world of Pope Francis that came with some fun audio:
"As Pope Francis embarks on his historic visit to the United States, His Holiness will spread his message of hope, faith and unity in the form of a prog-rock-infused album titled Wake Up! this November. The Vatican-approved LP... features the Pontiff delivering sacred hymns and excerpts of his most moving speeches in multiple languages paired with uplifting musical accompaniment ranging from pop-rock to Gregorian chant."
September 26, 2015
ABC Newspublished the full transcript of the pope's homily in Philadelphia:
"This morning I learned something about the history of this beautiful Cathedral: the story behind its high walls and windows. I would like to think, though, that the history of the Church in this city and state is really a story not about building walls, but about breaking them down. It is a story about generation after generation of committed Catholics going out to the peripheries, and building communities of worship, education, charity and service."
Though he was speaking to some of the most prestigious bodies in the world, perhaps the most memorable moments of Pope Francis' visit were the unscripted. Slate shared the story of one of these emotional, unforeseen encounters with a video:
September 27, 2015
The people's pope, being true to his nickname, is all about the people. The Huffington Post detailed Francis' visit to a Philadelphia prison from the perspective of those who visit the prison and experts on the wider topic of mass incarceration:
""Steven found out only last week that he had been selected to meet with Pope Francis. He's become very religious behind bars, and even said he wants to go to the seminary when he gets out. He believes Pope Francis is visiting the prison "to let us know that this isn’t the end" for the inmates. "Jeremiah 29:11 says that [God] already knows what our future is and he has something special for each and every one of us, and I don’t believe this is it for me," Steven said. This could all be part of a higher plan, Steven said."
In case anyone happened to have fallen in a hole for the past week, The Guardian provided a recap of the pope's visit via timeline and live Twitter feed:
"From Havana to Philadelphia, the pope has preached a pastor’s message of forgiveness and mercy. He encouraged Catholics above all to open their hearts to immigrants, whose culture, the pontiff said, was a gift that would renew the US. He often spoke off-the-cuff and made it a priority to meet schoolchildren and people living with a disability. He went to the margins, spending time in a prison and in underprivileged neighborhoods of New York City. The pontiff was bored only during the official events and soaring liturgies, renewing himself by coming into contact with ordinary Cubans and Americans. In all, it was an atypical tour for a world leader. The first fruits of Francis’s pilgrimage… will likely happen out of the public eye, in the quiet interior lives of those individuals who saw him speak, and the families and communities he toured."
Pope Francis took the world of news by storm this week, and thanks to the comprehensive and creative coverage by journalists, his message can stick with us long after he boards his plane, Shepherd One, back to Rome.