Local Catholics prepare to travel to Philly for Pope visit

Local Catholics prepare to travel to Philly for Pope visit

Amarillo, TX - Hours after Pope Francis arrived in Washington D.C. Tuesday afternoon, several local Catholics finalized their plans to make it to Philadelphia by Sunday.

It's been years since a Pope visited the United States and Lourdes Barba is taking advantage of the opportunity.

"For me, it's a blessing and it comes from the church, it comes from God," said Barba. "To see the Pope is great."

She just has one last thing she needs to do before she takes off to Philadelphia, deliver her 10th child.

"They're inducing labor tomorrow. I expect everything to go well," said Barba. "I leave it in God's hands. If everything goes well, I'll be leaving to Philadelphia Friday."

Tuesday evening two local churches, Saint Laurence and Blessed Sacrament, held a special prayer ceremony for Barba and others traveling to Philadelphia this week.

"They are disciples of the lord, and we want to pray they will have a good time over there," said Father Haider Quintero at Blessed Sacrament Church.

Between Blessed Sacrament and Saint Laurence, over 100 people are going to see the Pontiff. This Diocese of Amarillo says 36 people left this morning.

"Just seeing so many people that share the same faith as me, gives me the encouragement to keep believing what I believe," said Karina Barba.

While a visit like this is always a big deal to Catholics, there's something about this Pope in particular that makes it even more special.

"He's a really good person to be admiring. He's done a lot of good charity work and it's just so amazing how humble he really is," said Karina Barba.

Hotel rooms are sold out in Philadelphia. All of those from Saint Laurence who are going say they're staying at a YMCA near where Pope Francis will be giving mass.