Pope Francis will stay at the church-run Sumare Residence in Rio de Janeiro during his July 22-28 visit to Brazil for World Youth Day. The residence is pictured in a handout photo from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. CNS

Papal menu planners try to keep it simple yet sweet for World Youth Day

By  Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY - Sweet and simple: That's the menu plan for Pope Francis when he stays at a church-run residence during his visit to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.

However, Good Counsel Sister Terezinha Fernandes, who is in charge of the kitchen at the Sumare Residence, said that when she was dreaming up the dishes, "I had to hold myself back" to not let the table fare get too fancy.

Meals will consist of rice and beans, and some Brazilian specialties like cheese bread and "doce de leite" -- a dessert made from carmelized sweetened milk, she told the Italian Catholic newspaper, Avvenire, July 16.

About 30 visiting cardinals will be staying at the same residence and eating from the same menu in the common dining room, she said.

Sister Terezinha said they will be welcoming the pope "as he requested us to: with simplicity," but also with plenty of "boundless joy."

While the nun has vowed to keep things plain, another chef said she can't help herself and will probably make the pope splurge a little.

Monique Benoliel told Avvenire that when asked what he would like after celebrating the closing Mass July 28, the pope apparently requested just water.

"Well, this time, however, I am going to have to disobey him," she told the newspaper. She said it would be inconceivable to "not let the pope even try one of our tropical fruit juices."

At Sumare, Pope Francis will stay in the same room -- number five -- that Blessed Pope John Paul II stayed in when he visited Brazil in 1980 and in 1997.

The pope's room will be on the first floor of the two-story residence. The freshly renovated room with cream-colored walls, has a single bed, a mini-fridge, a desk and chair, coat rack, rocking chair, night stand and telephone.

"We hope Francis likes it," Sister Terezinha told the paper.

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