Pope's 2016 Mexico Visit Excites Catholics Along The Border

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
October 08, 2015
Mónica Ortiz Uribe
The Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is located in the historic center of downtown Ciudad Juárez.

News of Pope Francis' visit to Mexico early next year is creating excitement for Catholics living along the U.S.-Mexico border.

When Pope Francis was planning his visit to the U.S. earlier this year, he initially considered crossing into the country from the Mexican border city of Juárez as a gesture of solidarity toward immigrants. The idea was dropped when the pope promised to make a longer visit to Mexico at a later date.

On Tuesday, the Vatican announced that visit will happen before next spring. Specific dates or locations haven't been confirmed but border residents are hopeful.

Dylan Corbett runs Hope Border Institute, a Catholic nonprofit that's focused on social activism in the El Paso-Juárez region.

"Folks here in Juárez are waiting for a word of encouragement because they've gone through so much suffering and so much pain," he said. "Here you have migrants suffering, you have folks who are suffering economic injustice. Here you have folks who are suffering human trafficking … and other types of violence."

Juárez, which has never hosted a pope, is still recovering from a four-year period of intense drug violence that left more than 10,000 dead.