A Maine bishop is reflecting on Pope Francis' visit to the United States.
"I was able to tell him 'I am coming to tell you the people of Maine love you, and they're praying for you,'" Bishop Robert Deeley said.
The bishop of the Portland Diocese says it's an inspiring, and spiritual experience to be up close to the pontiff- and see how he interacts with Americans.
"The one thing that impressed me about this pope is seeing how well he understood Americans," began Bishop Deeley.
The bishop- and more than 100 other Mainers- were among the one million people in Philadelphia to see the pope. Bishop Deeley says his message about accepting immigrants and caring for the poor is relevant to his Diocese, with its growing and diverse immigrant population.
He says his parishioners along for the pilgrimage will be bringing back that message to Maine.
"They were very happy about what they had seen, and though tired, exhilarated," Bishop Deeley explained.
One criticism from the pope's United States visit was the amount of attention given to the sex abuse scandal. Bishop Deeley says it's an issue church leadership considers daily.
"The victims are never far from our attention and our care," Bishop Deeley said.
As the pope returns to Rome, Bishop Deeley brings back his message of compassion and inclusion to the people of Maine.