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Sacred Heart Church pastor talks to ABC-7 about pope’s visit

Confirmation of Pope Francis’ plan to visit Ciudad Juarez has Catholics rejoicing all over the borderland.

It’s a special date as Catholics honor Mexico’s patroness “Our Lady of Guadalupe”.

It was an event-filled day for Catholics in South El Paso.

Father Ronald Gonzales, pastor of Sacred Heart Church told ABC-7 the Popes visit to Juarez won’t be a big event, it will be massive.

At the South El Paso church, the beat of the Matachines drums filled the streets during a celebratory dance for the patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

But in between each step, a thought of even grander holiness was in the air

“There’s going to be so many people,” Gonzales said.

He tells ABC-7 word of Pope Francis’ visit to Juarez has many wanting to be part of the pope phenomenon.

“At this point people have already called me from our Jesuit parish in Albuquerque, ‘Hey, how can we get tickets. Hey can we bring some
of our young people and camp out on your gym floor?’ ” Gonzales told ABC-7.

The priest is already giving advice to those wanting to get a chance to see the pontiff.

“They would have to get there at least a day or two in advance, get yourself a hotel or stay with some friends so that you can get yourself a good spot,” Gonzales said.

The pastor did meet Pope John Paul ll at one point in his life but he said meeting Pope Francis would be extra special because the pope like himself is a Jesuit, from a society within the Roman Catholic Church that was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and instituted by Pope Paul lll.

“When he was chosen as pope and they said he was a Jesuit priest we fell off our couch. We fell of our chairs because we never imagined it. This is in itself a miracle,” Gonzales said.

And while the news might be exciting, Gonzales says the visit to Juarez has a greater meaning especially for a city that seen so much turmoil.

“He’s going to bring a light that will shine in the darkness,” said Gonzales.

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