Two from Bay Area to hear Pope Francis in person

Pope Francis
Pope Francis is helped down a set of steps during the midday prayer from the Liturgy of Hours, the daily form of prayer of the Catholic Church, with bishops from the U.S., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — Two Bay Area residents will be in the audience Thursday morning on Capitol Hill as Pope Francis becomes the first pope ever to address the U.S. Congress.

Morgan Hill resident and homeless advocate Maria Skoczylas, 89, and University of San Francisco Chancellor Rev. Stephen Privett will be in Washington, D.C. as guests of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, Lofgren’s office and university officials said.

Pope Francis is an inspiration for Skoczylas’ community service work and she said her greatest pleasure in life would be to be present when he speaks to members of Congress.

Others from the Bay Area will be watching from here. High school students and teachers at Presentation High School, an all-girls Catholic school in San Jose, will gather to watch the address at the school’s Miller Athletic Complex starting at 6 a.m., school officials said.

The address starts at 7 a.m. PST.Students and campus ministry staff of Santa Clara University will watch at the university’s Benson Memorial Center in Santa Clara and students and faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University will watch from its Berkeley campus.

Doors to the Benson Memorial Center and to the location at the school of theology at 1735 LeRoy Ave. open at 6:30 a.m.

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