BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Sunday marks the start of a historic week. Pope Francis will arrive in Washington D.C. Tuesday. It will be his first trip to America as pope and lots of people from Connecticut are planning to hear the pope speak.
News 8 spoke with parishioners outside St. Therese Church in Branford on Sunday. They’re leaving Friday afternoon for Philadelphia and spending the weekend there.
The pope arrived in Cuba Saturday. He’ll then be going to Washington D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia.
Michele and Walter Kendrioski will be leaving with about 200 other people from the archdiocese of Hartford. They are hoping they’ll get to see the pontiff. Though they’re not sure how close they’ll get, they’re just looking forward to being there.
“I think just being in his presence – I don’t know how close or how far – it’ll just be something that will just be a wonderful experience,” said Michele Kendrioski.
There will be retreats and a festival they’ll be able to attend while they’re there for the pope’s visit. They’re excited about his message and they hope that his visit to the United States brings people together.
“I think it’s very refreshing,” said Walter Kendrioski. “The Catholic Church has had its bumps and bruises lately and it makes me proud that I can be proud to be a Catholic.”
Walter Kendrioski likes what Pope Francis has brought to the Catholic Church in his time as its leader. He feels the pontiff sets a good example, treats people with respect and is a role model that he hopes his children can learn from.
“He’s following the guidelines that he sets forth and it makes it a lot easier for me as a father – that this is the right way to do things,” he said.
Michele Kendrioski hopes all people will feel welcomed by the Catholic Church after the pope’s visit.
“Since he’s become pope I’ve just been very inspired by him, intrigued by him,” she said. “I find him very welcoming, a very compassionate person, and just very full of mercy.”
The pope will be in the U.S. until next Sunday.