- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesotan who has devoted her life to helping the poor and homeless will meet Pope Francis when he visits the United States.

Mary Jo Copeland, founder of Sharing and Caring Hands, will have a private meeting with the pontiff Thursday at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, accompanied by her husband and Bishop Andrew Cozzens.

Copeland says she feels blessed to be part of the papal visit and glad for his appreciation of her work with the poor. She believes her work with Sharing and Caring Hands and the Mary’s Place shelter are what prompted the pope to want to see her.

Copeland says she plans to thank Francis for his message of love and ask him to pray with her for God’s help in taking care of his people.

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