Local students embrace pilgrimage to see Pope

Posted at 9:25 PM, Sep 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 21:25:15-04

Students at John Carroll University are used to walking. After all, that's part of college life.

But for one group of students traveling to Philadelphia this weekend to see Pope Francis, the walking will be a little more than a stroll across campus.

"It's going to be like a half marathon, but we can do it," student Katie O'Donnell of Chicago said. "I think the adrenaline will kick in and it'll all be worth it."

They'll be staying at St. Joseph's University which is about a seven and a half mile drive from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway where the pope will say mass on Sunday. The students were told to prepare for a six-mile walk each way.

The walk is something they're embracing as part of a special pilgrimage.

"As a current student at a Jesuit University going to see the first Jesuit pope, it just makes the experience that much more personal," said student Rachel Vadaj of Concord.

John Sosnowski of Buffalo went to a Jesuit high school as well and said he can't wait to be in the middle of the massive crowd.

"There's gonna be so many people with the same interests as you and you're going to be sharing this memory that's going to last throughout our lifetimes," he said.

Experienced student Ciara Crossey of Pittsburgh said she's happy to share with a million or two others.

"It's just going to be such a surreal gathering of Catholic people, it's just going to be wonderful," she said quickly adding "and non-Catholics, I mean everybody loves him."