Diocese of Orlando prepares for Pope Francis' arrival

Catholic leaders meet in Orlando to discuss the pope's visit to Washington D.C.

News 6 at Noon
News 6 at Noon

ORLANDO, Fla. – Catholic leaders with the Diocese of Orlando met Thursday morning to discuss the upcoming trip of the pope to the United States.

On Sept. 22, Pope Francis will arrive in Washington D.C. for his first ever visit to the U.S.

"He's coming with a message of hope," said Bishop John Noonan. "He's coming to inspire the people."

At a news conference, Bishop Noonan discussed the excitement surrounding the papal visit and why the man dubbed "the people's pope" has a special connection to so many.

"He wants to be with the people. I think that's why people are attracted to him more and more," said Noonan.

Several seminarians from the Diocese of Orlando will be traveling to Washington D.C. to meet Pope Francis at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
"It's incredibly exciting," said Blake Britton. "For catholics, the Holy Father represents, in person, the entirety of the Catholic church."

Britton will be participating in the canonization ceremony of Blessed Junipero Serra. While he hopes to be able to meet the pontiff, Britton is also looking forward to sharing his experience with his parish in Kissimmee.

"I want to take back his spirit of joy. His spirit of peace and humility that he's proclaiming to the world."

Several Catholic churches in Central Florida are making special plans while the pope is on U.S. soil.

In Altamonte Springs, St. Mary Magdalen will be holding a welcome celebration to coincide with the papal visit.

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