RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s a very exciting time for a group of local high school students who are traveling to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia.
A group of students from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh will travel by bus to Philadelphia this weekend to attend the pope’s mass there on Sunday.
The group will leave Saturday night and arrive early Sunday morning.
“I’m totally excited. I can’t wait honestly. I told my friends I’m not going to sleep on the ride there. It’s like seven hours,” said Victor Cardeno, senior at Cardinal Gibbons. “There’s no way I’m sleeping that ride there!”
The group is very excited and says they have been gearing up for the trip all week. They feel it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I never thought that this is something I could do. That makes it even more special,” said Gaby Cardeno, a senior at Cardinal Gibbons.
“It’s gonna be a ton of people, everyone believes the same thing. Everyone is there for the same reason. I’m just gonna have a huge smile; I won’t be able to stop honestly,” said Victor Cardeno said.
Teachers and school staff will be accompanying the students, and they are just as eager for the trip.
“I’m excited to see the students’ reaction. I’m excited to be up in Philadelphia with my colleagues. And I’m excited to see the group that will be there for mass,” said Cardinal Gibbons High School Principal Jason Curtis. “It’s a historic event, not just for our school but for our country as well.”
Curtis had the chance to see Pope John Paul II in Italy before, and said it is something he will never forget. “I’m excited that these students will be able to see a pope who is an important part of their childhood that they’ll be able to tell their children and grandchildren about it.”
The students and teachers will join half a million other people who will attend Sunday’s mass.
The students also talked with WNCN about following the pope through social media.
“I never thought the pope would be geared toward social media and have so much of an input on social media as he does now, and I think it’s a great way for him to relate to young people,” Gaby Cardeno said.
“He’s relatable. He uses social media. He has a twitter and Instagram; I follow him on Twitter,” said Michael Hils, a junior.
You can follow them on their journey through social media. Just look for the hashtag: #CGPopeinPhilly.
You can follow Pope Francis on Twitter at @Pontifex.