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El Paso Catholics prepare for pilgrimage to see Pope

Nearly a hundred El Pasoans are about to embark on a religious journey they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

They will be making the pilgrimage to Philadelphia, where they hope to see Pope Francis during his first trip to America as pope. Pope Francis will be in Philadelphia Sept. 26-27.

The group has been gathering to pray in order to prepare physically and spiritually for the trip.

“They’re expecting two-and-a-half, three million people to go. And I think just the excitement Pope Francis generates with some of the things he’s been introducing – his encyclical – it’s just energizing and revitalizing the church and I’m excited about that,” Deacon Frank Segura told ABC-7 Friday, Sept. 11 about why he’s excited for the trip.

Pat Vargas said, “I think the bottom line with this pope – he’s a people’s pope and he is encouraging compassion. Not necessarily to change the doctrine, but to show love and compassion. And that’s what it’s all about. We’re all in this together. So love and compassion is the bottom line and I think that’s his message.”

Vargas added that she expects to find peace during the pilgrimage, which she hopes will also reinforce her faith.

In total, more than 160 people from all over the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, which includes portions of West Texas, are traveling to Philadelphia.

El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz will be in attendance at the pope’s visits to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

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