NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Clearly I wasn't appropriately dressed to be on a soccer field, but as I brushed up on my soccer skills these young men were working on calming their nerves. These three teens -- Ariel Mejia, Cristian Contreras and Josue Recinos -- are among 150 refugees with Catholic Charities of New York who will be meeting Pope Francis on Friday when he visits Our Lady Queen of Angels in East Harlem. The boys are also part a Catholic Charities soccer team called La Union.
Ariel will even be giving the pope the gift of a soccer ball. All three young men came here to the United States about a year ago on their own to escape the violence plaguing their countries.
Coach Elvis Garcia Callejas is not only their coach. As their counselor, he also helps with different immigration issues that they face. He knows exactly what the boys are going through because he came to America by himself from Honduras.
While all the boys have different stories and backgrounds, their requests to the pope will be the same: to pray for people most affected for violence in Central America.