Local families inspired by pope’s visit

Pope Francis’ U.S. arrival is encouraging local families to take the trip to see him up close.

He landed Monday afternoon near Washington D.C. His six day tour includes stops in New York and Philadelphia.

One Marshall County family drove 13.5 hours to witness the pope’s mass Sunday. The Washburn and Ault families are representing St. Francis DeSales at the World Meeting of Families.

WMF is a gathering of families from around the world celebrating their Christian faith. They attend mass, hear speakers about family issues, and engage in thought provoking dialogue on the many issues confronting families around the world.

We talked to 9-year-old Izzy Washburn via Skype. She’s carrying a flat Francis similar to a flat Stanley to document the journey.

“I’m really excited about it, because it’s just a way to celebrate our faith,” Washburn said.

The pope is scheduled to attend the WMOF family day Saturday and then the Papal Mass Sunday where Izzy will be standing close by.

“We are with about 3 million people, and we get to be up closer and be able to see the pope better at mass,” Izzy said.

Izzy’s mom Jennifer says the world meeting of families is held every three years and this is the first time it has been in the United States.

For those who can’t be up close, there is live streaming available of his trip. Pope Francis also has several social media accounts to keep track of his visit.

St. Mary High School Senior Allison Shields says anyone can learn from his visit. She says her friends like that he seems approachable and genuine.

“People of our age can still connect with him,” Shields said.

She’s excited to monitor the pope’s excursion online.

“To watch him, his journey throughout America, and just listen to, hear what he has to say,” Shields said.

St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church Youth Minister Matthieu Rochette says Pope Francis’ authenticity is not only attracting more youth but people in general.

“He’s very much saying we’re all messed up, we all make mistakes. I think that’s a message the world really wants to hear. Yeah, there’s a lot of things that are messed up, but Gods love kind of perseveres through all of that,” Rochette said.

Wednesday the pope will have an official meeting with president Obama at the white house. The two world leaders could talk about the pope’s trip to Cuba, immigration, or climate change. Then on Thursday the pope will speak to a joint session of congress. After that, he’ll address the United Nations in New York and celebrate mass at the world meeting of families in Philadelphia.

Catholic Church leaders held a news conference this evening in Washington D.C. speaking on the meaning of the historic visit. You can catch four special reports about the pope’s visit throughout the week. They’ll air on WPSD Local 6 and on our website.

Related Articles