While Pope Francis spoke before Congress, a watch party in Las Vegas gathered to hear his message and act on it.
Although thousands of miles away, Las Vegans offered cheers and praises for Pope Francis as he entered the U.S. Capitol.
PLAN or Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada hosted a watch party drawing people from several races and religions. Each was drawn to something different the pope talked about.
“Definitely immigration, I’m undocumented, my parents are undocumented, so for him to address Congress and tell them, ‘these are people, they’re here working, we’re all foreigners, we all came from somewhere or our parents did,” said Erika Castro, a viewer. “For him to talk about that, it really hits home.”
A. J. Buhay loved hearing the pope encourage youth to be the change agent.
“He was really asking for young people to step up, and do more about the issues they’re concerned about,” he said.
“My interest was peaked when he kind of referenced black lives matter, talking about people in this country fighting to fix some of these wounds that have been left over from history,” said Laura Martin, associate director of PLAN.
Following in the pontiff’s footsteps, the people at the watch party went to Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada to offer their services.
“The pope called on people around the country, he said, ‘let’s see if we can get 1,000 people to volunteer today at a shelter,'” Martin said.
She says their mission is to provide opportunities for people to do something about the issues they care about and to live by the Golden Rule as the pope mentioned.
“It’s just for people to think, what kind of consequences do my actions really have on people and would I appreciate if that was reciprocated and brought back to me,” Martin said.