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Youth Radio special correspondent Erin Callahan is following Pope Francis as he visits the East Coast of the United States and speaking with young people along the way.
Tara Anders, 12 years old , Garrett Park, Maryland
Pope Francis inspires me in many ways. He is a very normal human being, like me, making it easier for me to relate to him. He once said in an interview that he was a sinner, implying that he wasn’t perfect, he also made mistakes. I feel like this inspires people, and in a way relieves them from thinking that they have to be a perfect.
One thing that I noticed when I went to meet Pope Francis was how friendly he was, how he made it a point to smile at everyone, and how everyone was responding to him.
It is very important to me that Pope Francis is addressing the issue about living simple. He lives very modestly. He chose to have a small car, he doesn’t live in the papal apartments, and instead lives in a more simple place. This solves the big issue of people thinking that money equals a happy life. He shows that love equals a happy life. I truly admire this because I think that he is absolutely right.
It was really amazing meeting Pope Francis. I got to shake his hand and it was the most memorable part of my life so far.
Pope Francis seems to radiate holiness and seeing him inspires me to take my faith to the next level.
It is important to me that Pope Francis is addressing difficult situations faced by children. I started a club last year at my school that addressed issues such as child labor and girls education, so I’m really happy that the Pope is taking a special interest in us.
I think the Pope’s visit to America will inspire people to convert, and I think Pope Francis will make several issues hot issues.
All Popes strive to give a message of peace. Pope Francis not only gave that message, but called upon the citizens of the world. In his address, he named four individuals that altered society for the better: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. By combining those examples and observations of the current day, he gave his opinion on what an effective political leader should be, and what kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves.