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Latinos hope Pope gives hope like in Argentina

March 14, 2013 8:16:48 PM PDT
This new pope takes his name from the patron saint of the downtrodden and the impoverished: St. Francis of Assisi.

Many Catholics hope that Pope Francis does what his namesake did.

Does what the pope did when he was a cardinal in Argentina, which was give hope to those who live without it.

Eyewitness News visited some Hispanic neighborhoods and spoke to residents about their hopes for this new pope.

Many are now looking to Pope Francis for inspiration, but one volunteer with a special organization in Fort Greene, Brooklyn already sees him as an inspirational guiding light.

Offering mass and daily prayers in their tiny chapel, the missionaries and volunteers of Heart's Home, think too of Pope Francis.

"He's taking on his shoulders a lot and he cannot do it on his own. He needs the support of his people," said Natalia Fassano, of Heart's Home Missionary.

Natalia Fassano, who devotes her life to the missionary work of this Catholic organization, sees a kinship with Pope Francis in more than just their Argentinian heritage.

She helps the poor and disadvantaged here in Brooklyn, much as then Bishop Bergoglia did in Buenos Aires.

"He did not want to live in like this big house for bishop but he preferred a little apartment," Fassano said.

Living out of the now shuttered St. Michael & St. Edward Church, Natalia and others live in the same Brooklyn community where they provide support for over 200 families.

"It requires a lot of humility from us but that comes naturally because the poor are the real teachers," Fassano said.

Cardinal Bergoglia had visited a Heart's Home in Buenos Aires in 1990, coming away, Natalia says with a connection of his own to this group.

"He was like, 'Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for just walking the streets of Buenos Aires and being a sign of hope,'" Fassano said.

Connecting with residents where they live, like the nearby Ingersol Houses, Heart's Home offers compassion, community and prayer and now Natalia believes, the inspiration from a new pope.

"We don't need to do great, great things but the little one we can do can make a difference," Fassano said.

Heart's Home believes that difference is made right in the communities they serve.