Jessica Bede was a lifelong parishioner of Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church on New York City's Upper East Side until it closed recently along with 33 other churches as the New York Archdiocese merged parishes.
The day the church was shut some parishioners gathered on the steps to pray. And that's where the idea of the pop-up pope popped up.
Why did they turn to the pope? When the church doors were shuttered the parisioners received a donation from catholictothemax.com in the form of the pope's form. They're not asking for monetary donations but rather for prayers and recognition of the historical importance of this church to the neighborhood.
This may be the closest many will get to meeting the pope so come take a selfie from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday or Tuesday through Thursday in the weeks leading up to Pope Francis' Sept. 24 arrival in New York.