As part of his trip to the United States, on Thursday, September 24, 2015, Pope Francis departed Washington, DC, and arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York City in the evening. He stepped off the aircraft to a red carpet ceremony and was greeted by a welcoming party of Catholic worshipers from various parishes, nursing home residents, and other followers. The Pontiff took the time to personally greet as many of them as possible and he accepted their gifts. Sister Madeline Angeline Fasano, O.Carm., several staff members, and three residents from Ozanam Hall Nursing Home in Bayside, New York were among those who greeted Pope Francis at the airport. One of the Ozanam Hall residents was Mrs. Anna Ambrosino, who has seen four popes in person. “He was standing right there,” Ambrosino said excitedly. “I kissed his hand, his ring, and uttered “His Holiness, God bless you… He said that we should pray for him.” Mrs. Connie Angiolillo, 93, savored the opportunity to see Pope Francis in person. “Next time I see him it will be in heaven,” she said. “I’m 93! He’s love. He’s Christ on earth.” Mr. Eric Stoerzer, also a resident, was able to welcome Pope Francis.
Ozanam Hall, administered by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, is a 432 bed facility that was opened in 1971. The Home is named for Frederic Ozanam, a 17th century lawyer and philosopher known for his charitable works such as the founding of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Ozanam Hall specializes in short-term rehabilitation as well as skilled geriatric care.