Pope's American visit inspiring local outreach programs - WNEM TV 5

Pope's American visit inspiring local outreach programs

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

For lunch on Thursday, Pope Francis did not share a meal with American lawmakers, instead, he dined with homeless and low income men and women at a Catholic charity.

"The son of God came into this world as a homeless person. The son of God knew what it was to be a homeless person. What is was to start life without a roof over his head," Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis is speaking out about helping the poor in our communities.

That's why Terri Grierson, the director of Christian Service for the Saginaw diocese, is in Philadelphia this week: to learn better ways to serve her community.

"There's high energy and high passion and faith in the room and it's just such a privilege to be a part of that," Grierson said.

Grierson works with outreach programs through the Catholic Church in the Saginaw area.

This week she is meeting with others from across the nation who do the same job, to learn from each other how to better this area.

"We want to continue to focus on our concern for the poor, on our concern for the family, recognizing that's the foundation for society," Grierson said. "And there's so many people suffering from oppression and substance, poverty that we need to recognize that so they can achieve their full dignity."

Grierson said it's too soon to tell if the pope's visit will impact volunteerism and donation at the local level.

But she is excited by how many people, many non-Catholic, are inspired by the pope's visit.

"I can see what we're doing on the local level and helping agencies getting money to people in need, and then seeing it on a global level with the same program so that's pretty amazing," Grierson said.

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