PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been just a few weeks since Nelson Perez was installed as the new Archbishop of Philadelphia. On Thursday, he made his first visit to a local school in Hunting Park.
It’s been 20 years buts the archbishop says he’s glad to be back in his old neighborhood and he received a very warm welcome. Little Flower High School students welcomed the new archbishop with gifts and song.
“It was really nice,” senior Julia Ponciano said. “The procession was beautiful and his homily was nice too.”
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Soon after the announcement that Archbishop Nelson Perez would be installed as the leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Little Flower sent a welcome gift, including an invitation to conduct mass at the high school.
He jumped at the chance to connect with the young women.
“I reminded them of the gift of the human and Christian values that are being instilled deep within their hearts and to not let anyone or anything rob them,” Perez said.
This neighborhood is the archbishop’s old stomping ground. The Cuban-American visited the school many times in the past and the school community is happy to have him back.
“He’s actually very connected to a lot of our families,” Little Flower President Jeane McNamara said. “I’m looking out, some of our family are close friends of his. So for him, it’s really like coming home.”
With the 36,000 young women that have passed through this school since its doors opened 80 years ago, Little Flower got to celebrate its unique sisterhood and diversity with the first Hispanic to lead the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
“Today was amazing,” said Flavia Colgan. “It was beautiful to see how the archbishop connected so well with the girls.”