VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — On the eve of the arrival of Pope Francis in America, Hampton Roads is getting ready for the visit.
Many of our neighbors will travel to Washington, New York, and Philadelphia for the Pontiff’s “reaching out” to America.
One place preparing for the visit is Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach. Ten students and four adults will be making the trip.
Inside Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, there is a joyful love for Pope Francis. Junior Diana Thien says, “We might not be
able to see him. It’s just to be close to him, to be in the area, to be close to him is what makes this so special.”
The Bishop Sullivan contingent will be in Washington and Philadelphia to welcome his Holiness Pope Francis, “I am really looking forward to being with a million of our best friends in the Catholic christian faith, and being together with our father,” says Junior Riley O’Neill.
Pope Francis is known for his humility and encouraging forgiveness like for the annulling of catholic marriages. The Holy Father who is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church has said any woman can be forgiven for abortion if she is contrite and said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Senior Sara Hutchens said, “He was making the church more approachable and open to people. He wants them to know you are welcomed here, and we want you to be Catholic whether you are gay or lesbian.”
Daniel Gonzalez’s brother saved money to fly their 78-year-old grandmother from Mexico. “She’s so excited to be with the Pope, and to be so close because we are going to be in the church with him.”
The Gonzalez’s will be in the presence of the Pope Wednesday night as Pope Francis declares Junipero Serra a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
Serra had a fierce determination to bring Christianity to the natives of what is now California in the 1700’s.
Campus Minister Elaine Lyons will be on the trip too, “What strikes me about him is how compassionate he is. How real he is. You see his face light up when he encounters a person one on one. He hugs them, he blesses them.”