Many people from the Scranton Diocese will make the journey to Philadelphia to be part of the Holy Father’s historic visit to the United States.

The faithful are preparing to attend mass as part of the world meetings of families.

In 10 days, Pope Francis will say mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Many from the Diocese of Scranton will attend. Nearly 2,800 people on 52 busses will make the pilgrimage.

Bishop Joseph Bambera said he’s thrilled by the masses that plan see his Holiness.

“I’m so happy that they’re willing to go and visit with about a million of their new best friends,” he said.

Bishop Bambera said his people are excited to see the Pope, and he is overjoyed to witness people of the Diocese listening to the Pope firsthand.

“To have such a representation is extremely extremely encouraging to me to know that in that mass of people there will be people from our parishes that will be there,” Bambera said. 

Forty-One people from the St. Ignatius Loyoa Parish in Kingston will be leaving from the church parking lot on N. Maple Ave. on the morning of September 27.

Parish Pastoral Associate Tony Butel referenced the magnitude of meeting the Pope. 

“Probably for many, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Butel said.

Even still, it’s not what he’s looking forward to the most. Butel said he wants to find a way to help people who are struggling.

 He said he’s “looking forward to the families conference first. I think there are so many families in the area that are hurting.”

While it’s the first time Butel will see Pope Francis, Bishop Bambera will met his Holiness for the third time. He said the visit is a historic opportunity for people to hear the Pope’s message.

“I would like to think that his message will simply resonate with what our good people hear all the time,” he said.

Butel said their are still several seats left on the bus leaving from St. Ignatius. If you’re interested in going to Philadelphia for the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you can call St. Ignatius at (570) 288-6446.