Sewing for Pope Francis

Slowly and carefully, some Catholic women in Yonkers, New York, embroider very special tablecloths. They take pride in every stitch. These linens will be used to cover the altar when Pope Francis celebrates mass in Madison Square Garden and on tables when he meets with Catholic school children and local immigrants in Harlem.

Born in Mexico, Ignacia Gonzalez lives in Yonkers now. First she designed this intricate pattern of a cross. She and others hand stitched it into the fabric. Pope Francis is a vocal advocate for the poor and immigrants like these women. He has said he wants to see the work Catholic Charities is doing to help needy families new to this country.

Esmeralda Hoscoy is the regional supervisor for Westchester County for Catholic Charities Community Services. Catholic Charities supports about 30 women who participate in this weekly sewing workshop. When they are not working on the projects for the pope, the women earn a living by selling what they sew.

In addition to the embroidery that they are working they are also working on a tablecloth gift to take back to the Vatican.

One more thing the women are excited about: Pope Francis, born in Argentina, will talk to them in Spanish when he visits the Catholic school in Harlem.