Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Madison Square Garden

Pope Francis presides over Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Pope Francis presides over Mass at Madison Square Garden. (9/25/15)

NEW YORK - Pope Francis celebrated Mass for 18,000 people at the Madison Square Garden arena, the final event on his New York City trip.

Before the service began, Francis made a lap of the arena floor in a golf cart, getting huge cheers.

He waved, smiled and accepted some flowers and other gifts. On a second lap that took him down the middle aisle, he stopped at one point, apparently to bless some children.

By his preference, the pontiff sat in a simple oak chair built by day laborers working for a charity, rather than by expert craftsmen.

During the Mass, Francis emphasized a point he has made throughout his U.S. trip: the need to welcome foreigners and marginalized people.

In his homily he also cited "children who go without schooling, those deprived without medical insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly."

He says God "frees us from anonymity, from a life of emptiness and selfishness." He also says, "God is living in our cities," and so is the church.

He concluded the service with the customary "go in peace and serve the Lord" and added, "Please, I ask you, don't forget to pray for me."

The Mass was the last stop on Pope Francis' New York City trip. He left for Philadelphia Saturday morning.

The Associated Press Wire services contributed to this report.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

A 600-year-old white oak that sits on the 1 600-year-old tree to be removed in Bernards
Here is the latest weather forecast in your 2 Westchester Evening Weather, 4-23
A Rockaway Township police officer is facing charges 3 Morris County officer faces sexual assault charges
Authorities in Newark are searching for a person 4 Police seek person who crashed stolen car into Newark church
A 600-year-old white oak that sits on the 5 600-year-old tree to be removed in Bernards

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

At 9/11 museum, pope calls for building unity Pope Francis mingles with high and low in New York visit

Sweeping through the landmarks of America's biggest and brashest city, Pope Francis on Friday offered

Pope Francis visits students at Our Lady of Pope Francis visits East Harlem school

Pope Francis made one of the most person-to-person appearances of his New York trip at

Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress Pope makes historic address to Congress

Standing before a rapt Congress, Pope Francis issued a ringing call to action on behalf

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.