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Pope Francis given Patrick Mahomes jersey

PATRICK MAHOMES
TOM PENNINGTON | GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA | AFP
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Mahomes leads the Kansas City Chiefs against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday

The bishops of the midwestern United States are having meetings with Pope Francis this week, and one of them made sure to fill him in on something important happening at home: the football playoffs.

Bishop James Johnston of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph presented a signed Patrick Mahomes jersey to the Holy Father, as reported in this Catholic News Service tweet.

Mahomes is a local star as the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, who will play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday for the AFC Championship.

Francis is a big sports fan, though as is common in Latin America, his interests lie especially with soccer, not American football.

Nevertheless, he’s repeated dozens of times that he sees sport as an important part of the human experience, and a key formative activity for youth. He particularly stresses how sports has the capacity to unite people of different cultures, religions, and nationalities.

With Peter

Regarding the bishops’ visit with the pope: These are called “ad limina” visits. Ad limina is Latin for “to the threshold” and refers to going to the “threshold of the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul.” All the diocesan bishops of the world and some others regularly have these meetings with the pope and members of the Roman Curia, on a fixed schedule. The ad limina visits used to fall approximately every five years, but in the last several years, have become more spaced out, as the popes’ traveling schedules have increased, as well as other scheduling factors.

The meetings are a chance for the bishops to speak with the pope and other Vatican leaders about local issues of concern, as well as to share moments of fellowship.

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