AP Is All Over the Papal Chair Beat

The story behind some Sept. 25 Madison Square Garden furniture.

The Associated Press has been on the leading edge of a topic that is going to be covered a great deal more. The chair constructed for Pope Francis’ Sept. 25 Madison Square Garden mass.

Last month, reporter Claudia Torrens caught up with the trio of Port Chester immigrant workers chosen for the job:

Hector Rojas, 30, Francisco Santamaria, 61, of Nicaragua and Fausto Hernandez, 51, of the Dominican Republic are day laborers from Don Bosco Workers and Obreros Unidos de Yonkers, chosen by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York to build the chair. “They could have called a large company, but they called us,” Rojas said. “We are very happy to help them.”

“It is a great pleasure to do this. The pope is our idol,” Santamaria said.

This week, AP colleague Julie Walker attended the furniture’s official unveiling:

The chair has a light brown finish with a darker mahogany trim and a white cushioned seat, back and arms. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the symbolism of a chair was “very important in Catholic imagination.”

“A chair represents unity and a chair represents teaching authority,” Dolan said, adding that the pope wanted something simple and wooden without any designs.

A separate group of men at Lincoln Hall Boys Haven in Lincondale have built a lectern and alter for the upcoming Friday mass ceremony.
 
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