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Pope Francis in the USA

Pope Francis came to New York City in 2015 on a pastoral visit as part of a trip to Cuba and the USA and to participate in the Eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. He was received with a 225-foot tall billboard in the middle of the Big Apple.


As part of my work at DeSales Media, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, I participated in the efforts to welcome Pope Francis to NYC, evangelize the people of this culturally-diverse city, and position the company as one of the top leaders in the Catholic content and news in the northeast. 


Concept Creation  |  Layout Design  

After an initial board meeting to discuss the capabilities and budget allocated to these goals, the opportunity of creating a significant impact presented itself with the leasing of a mural space in one of the best and more concurred areas in the city. They decided to make a giant out-of-home mural building billboard activation in Manhattan.

The mural had to communicate a warm welcome to the Pope, the multicultural background of the city, and depict Pope Francis as an approachable Catholic leader of the church.

I presented several concepts to the board to evaluate the message. The task of selecting the right image brought the challenge of contacting an Italian photographer to ask for the usage rights of the photo and all the legal difficulties required.

Right after the green light, the painting o the mural started outside Pennsylvania Station and the iconic Madison Square Garden arena, taking two weeks to complete, weeks before the Holy Father’s September 25 Mass.

In the media

The billboard generated more than 700,000 impressions each week throughout September and was covered across national and international media outlets, including ABC7, CBS2, Catholic Sun (Diocese of Syracuse), Crux News, Currents News, El Diario, Fox5 NY – Good Day NY, The Long Island Catholic, IO Donna, NY1, NY1 Noticias, The New York Times, The Tablet, The Wall Street Journal, and Univision.

Multi-religious Gathering Program book

Concept Creation  |  Layout Design  

I also designed the official program for the Multi-religious Gathering with Pope Francis, held at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan. The event collaborated with the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the September 11 Museum. Pope Francis addressed the crowd with a prayer of remembrance for the victims of the September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993 terror attacks.

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Let’s connect!

I’d love to hear from you.