Local groups take in Pope's mass in Philadelphia

Posted at 5:32 AM, Sep 28, 2015

From all over Northeast Ohio and from all directions in Philadelphia those making the pilgrimage to be a part of Pope Francis' open air mass in Philadelphia made their way to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Some had to waits of up to two hours like a group of students from Cathedral Latin in Chardon. "We got to make a sacrifice sooner or later so this is our sacrifice to the lord," said Talia Bailey of Mayfield.

Other groups faced even longer waits. Members of St. Rita Parish in Solon stood at their gate for four hours waiting to go through their security screening Deacon Bob Grgic said.

Still they made it through and onto the parkway in time to see Pope Francis pass by in his Ohio-made Jeep Popemobile.

"Life changing" is how Grgic explained the experience. "It was amazing to see people from all over the world [come] to see the Holy Father and to celebrate and pray with them," Grgic said.

Cleveland Heights natives John Tenbusch and Keith Zimmerman staked out their spots early Sunday morning.

"It's one of those bucket list things," Zimmerman said. "How often does the pope come to the United States in a location that's close enough to get to go?"

While many came with special intentions for loved ones the prayers Tenbusch sought were for something different.

"I was asked to bring some rosaries and things like that to be blessed but I'm from Cleveland and I'm a Browns fan," he said pulling out a Browns bandana he thought might bring the team some divine intervention with a papal blessing.