Elderly Westchester nun, battling rare disease, issues plea to meet Pope Francis on his NYC visit

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's a plea through social media that's reaching the masses, but will it reach the person who it's really meant for?

An 88-year old nun from Ossining is battling a rare disease and can't walk or talk.

And on her bucket list: She wants to meet Pope Francis when he makes his journey to New York City next month.

Her plea has been posted on Facebook and shared more than 1,000 times.


At the tender age of five Sister Noel Divine already knew there was a great calling on her life. So at 17 she joined the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic and began her journey in ministry.

"Divine is my surname so I was destined," she said.

Now after 70 years of service teaching and helping people around the world and back, Sister Noel would love nothing more than to meet Pope Francis on his visit to New York.

Although she cannot speak or walk due to a rare disease called PLS, she still spreads the good news with the help of this tablet and a smile.

"Pope Francis is more outgoing and in touch with the people, he has great understanding and compassion," she said.

Just last week Sister Noel's longtime wish to meet the pope was shared on their Convent's Facebook page, and it's since gone viral with more than 1,000 likes and shares and 80,000 views!

"I think it is wonderful people share the same dream so they are rooting for me," said Sister Noel.

So far there's no word yet from the Vatican but Sister Noel remains hopeful and certainly prayerful.

"I would like to thank all those who are praying for me and I would like to invite young people to join Maryknoll mission," she said.

If you want to help Sister Noel see her dream of meeting Pope Francis come true you can go to the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic Facebook page to like and share the post.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Archdiocese of New York told us that the Maryknoll Sisters will be among the religious orders invited to join Pope Francis at Saint Patrick's Cathedral for Vespers.

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