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SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL: The San Antonio business leaders, residents who traveled to see Pope Francis in DC
The San Antonio business leaders, residents who traveled to see Pope Francis in DC
Dozens of San Antonio residents were witnesses to history, including several prominent business people who traveled to Washington D.C. to hear Pope Francis speak.
Pope Francis delivered a message of hope to Congress but also spoke about immigration, the environment and the death penalty among other topics moving House Majority Leader John Boehner to tears.
San Antonio business leader Louis Escareno in Washington DC for the Pope's visit.
Each of San Antonio's five congressmen handed out more than two dozen tickets to constituents and posted photos of their visitors to Facebook.
On the night before the historic speech, Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, hosted a dinner for constituents who traveled from San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley to see the pope speak. Among those present were San Antonio area residents Julian Acevedo, Francis Falcon, Eliana Parada, Shiun Mou andLuis Almonte, who were in DC representing educational organization SkillsUSA.
"His message transcends those political boxes we place ourselves into," Cuellar told the San Antonio Business Journal minutes after the historic speech.
Congressman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, hosted a lunch after the Pope's speech for his constituents who traveled to DC for the papal visit.
A devout Catholic who attends Sunday services at the Cathedral of San Fernando in downtown San Antonio, Escareno got a ticket from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to see Pope Francis on the steps of the Capitol.
Like thousands of people outside the Capitol and National Mall, Escareno watched the Pope's address on a jumbo screen completely captivated by the message of hope for the modern tech-driven world.
"You could have heard a pin drop," Escareno recalled. "It was so unusual for such a busy city."
Escareno said Pope Francis wisely selected American icons Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King to illustrate his points about social justice.
"Without being preachy, without being judgmental, he was delivering some very powerful words," Escareno said.
After his speech, Pope Francis came out to a balcony at the Capitol, waved to the crowd, said "God bless America" and led a prayer for the nation's youth.
"For me, it was a very moving experience," Escareno said.
Did you travel to Washington DC, New York or Philadelphia to see Pope Francis? Share your story and photos on the San Antonio Business Journal Facebook Page!