Superintendent: ‘Seems So Perfect’ That Pope Francis Will Visit East Harlem School

Many Poor Children Attend Our Lady Queen of Angels

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Our Lady Queen of Angels School on East 112th Street serves mainly poor children from Harlem and the South Bronx.

A majority of the students at the school, which will host Pope Francis next week, are Hispanic and Latino, and many are new immigrants, said Kathleen Porter-Magee, superintendent of The Partnership for Inner-City Education, which manages the school.

“He is really putting a strong focus on returning the church to its core mission of service, particularly to the disadvantaged and to the poor,” Porter-Magee told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “And so it just seems so perfect that he would be coming here.”

The Partnership for Inner-City Education was formed after the closure of more than 50 Catholic school in the Archdiocese.

“And I really hope that this helps pivot the story,” Porter-Magee said. “For so many years, we heard negative stories about schools closing … but there’s innovation happening across the country and here in New York, and I hope that he shines a spotlight on that.”

The students are expected to show Pope Francis their proects on ways to save the environment.

Of course, some have their own agenda.

“I’m going to say to him that my family loves him and that I love him, too, because he’s a great person, and he’s the Holy Father,” one girl said.

“Well, my dad wants me to say something: to pray for the Mets for them to win the playoffs,” a boy said.

Francis will arrive at JFK Airport on Sept. 24 and attend evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The next day, he will address the United Nations General Assembly, host an interfaith service at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, visit Our Lady Queen of Angels, take a motorcade through Central Park and celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden.

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