Situated on the periphery of Bratislava, the block was once called “the Bronx of Slovakia” due to the local drug trade.

The block has found new hope in the two-floor former kindergarten building, which has a garden that is a green island amid a sea of concrete.

Prior to the live-streamed papal visit, there were few articles written about the center — even in Slovakian. That is because the nuns want no publicity about their work.

The pope was welcomed to the center by the community’s superior, who showed him around the complex. He greeted homeless people assisted by the center as members of a children’s choir performed songs in the courtyard.

In a brief address to those gathered outside, he thanked the center’s supporters.

“I also thank the moms and dads and all the kids who are here,” he said. “The Lord is with us when we are so happy together. But also in moments of trial, he is always with us. He accompanies us especially in the bad times.”