Philadelphia Inmates Craft Chair for Pope Francis’ Upcoming Visit

“I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life.” – Pope Francis

Philadelphia inmates have carved a beautiful chair for Pope Francis’s prison visit next month:

PHILACOR is one of several vocational programs to help inmates learn skills that can be transferred to the community after their release. Five inmates carved the chair, and several others are working on upholstery and decoration.

Many of the workers will be in the audience of 100 inmates and their families when Francis visits Curran-Fromhold on Sept. 27, the morning of the day of the afternoon papal Mass.

“It really gives you joy knowing you’re making something for someone so big that’s coming to the city,” another inmate, Michael Green of Chester, said. “And that everyone’s going to get a chance to see the craft we’re learning here.”

Green said he knows he and other inmates had “made bad decisions to be in jail, but by doing this right here, it gives me a sense of gratitude that I can give something back to my community and be a better person when I come home.”

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