Pope Francis’s first pastoral visit to the United States one year ago in September 2015 concluded with a visit to Philadelphia, where the pope participated in the World Meeting of Families. That papal visit to the “City of Brotherly Love,” followed earlier stops in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

During his Sept. 26-27 visit to Philadelphia, the pope participated in a prayer vigil for the Festival of Families and celebrated the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families.

In that city, Pope Francis also spoke at Independence Mall, using the same lectern that President Abraham Lincoln used for the Gettysburg Address, and the pontiff as he stood near the Liberty Bell underscored the importance of safeguarding religious liberty.

At that gathering, he met with immigrants and members of the Hispanic community and emphasized America’s legacy of providing opportunities for immigrants and hope for the poor.

In Philadelphia, the pope also celebrated Mass with Pennsylvania’s bishops, priests and men and women religious at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul; and visited with prisoners at a correctional facility, where he said that prisons should emphasize rehabilitation, and that all people are in need of forgiveness.

In an email interview, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput reflected on the memories and enduring impact of Pope Francis’s visit to that city.

One year later, what memories do you find most inspiring about Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia?

The crowds.  The security precautions were so heavy that getting to many of the events was daunting.  But people still turned out by the hundreds of thousands.  Philadelphia has the reputation of being a tough and skeptical city, but the enthusiasm for Francis was extraordinary – really deafening.

The ocean of families in downtown Philly on the final day of the pope’s visit is a sight I’ll never forget. We had a million people present for the papal Mass that day.

And because I was traveling with him, I could see the effect of the crowds on him personally.  He must have been exhausted half the time, but the crowds were like adrenaline.  He loved the contact.

Which of his words or messages from his visit to Philadelphia do you think especially continues to resonate?

Most people don’t remember words and messages; they remember persons.  The power of Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia was his personal presence.  People remember him.  They remember his simplicity and warmth, and their own consolation in being close to him.

In the year since, what impact did his visit have on Philadelphia, and what do you hope will be the enduring impact of his visit there for the future?

The same questions were asked in Denver after World Youth Day 1993.  It’s hard to be patient.  A year and even two years after the Denver event, nothing seemed to have changed.  Ten years later, the change was dramatic.

As in Denver, events like the World Meeting of Families are seeds.  They need time to grow.  People need time to process what they experienced and then find ways of living what they learned.  The family is under great stress in this country.  The long-term effect of last year’s gathering should be a stronger commitment at the grassroots level to faithful marriages and families.

Our job as a local Church is to find ways of helping that to happen.

What impact do you hope that Pope Francis’s participation in the World Meeting of Families and his message there will have on Catholic families, what do you hope will continue to be the takeaway for them from the papal visit?

When the pope invests his presence anywhere, in anything, he automatically reinforces the importance of an event and its message.  I think the papal visit woke at least some people up to a much richer life, rooted in family love, beyond the horizon of America’s consumer rat race and political sloganeering.

It didn’t change the world.  But it’s not a bad start.