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THE PAPAL VISIT : Papal Digest : Welcome Sign Is Out but Mission Isn't Quite Ready for Return of Its Residents

September 18, 1987| Compiled by JUDY PASTERNAK from staff reports

On the day after, in Los Angeles:

- A blue and white "Welcome Home" sign went up over the front door of the Union Rescue Mission next door to St. Vibiana's Cathedral. But most of the 500 residents, who were displaced to a nearby city-owned warehouse for security reasons during the Pope's stay, won't be returning until today.

"We're not ready for them," explained John Dixon, the mission's director of development.

The mission chapel, which provides sleeping space for up to 385, is being repainted and the dining room floor is getting a good scrubbing. Opportunities are rare for such a thorough cleaning, Dixon added, so the Pope's visit and the resulting relocation turned out to be "a blessing in disguise."

- Because work crews labored all night, the seats, scaffolding and stage for the Pope's Wednesday night Mass at Dodger Stadium were gone from the field more than two hours before batting practice began for the Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at 12:30 p.m.

- The 12,000 street barriers put up for the Pope's Tuesday motorcade were still stacked on the sidewalks. The city Bureau of Street Maintenance spent four days placing the barricades along the 7.2-mile parade route. By this evening, or Monday at the latest, all of them are expected to be packed away.

The huge water-filled barricades placed by police around St. Vibiana's Cathedral, where the Pope stayed, were cleared.

- Masses of flowers from the Pope's meeting with non-Christian religious leaders were distributed to shelters for the homeless, Queen of Angels Hospital and two public elementary schools with predominantly Latino Catholic enrollments.

At 9th Street Elementary School, arriving students were greeted by three 8-by-10-foot panels of marigolds, chrysanthemums, carnations and palm leaves. At the end of the school day, they made bouquets from the panels to take home, along with the miters they had fashioned from newspapers.

At Murchison Street Elementary School, students and parents posed for photos with four floral panels. Each child was allowed to take one flower home. Principal Jeanne Yamamota said she expects the experience will teach truants a lesson.

"If you didn't come to school today," she said, "you didn't get a flower from the Pope."

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