For many — seeing Pope Francis in person is the opportunity of a lifetime.

His visit to Philadelphia has sparked months of preparations, and high hopes for local parishioners planning to journey to the city of brotherly love.

But some churches in Luzerne County are getting worried their once-packed busses may have vacancies when it comes to the big day.


“There’s been a lot of talk about the crowds and just hardship if you’re going there and can’t handle it so a lot of people i think have been scared off.” said Terri Besecker, a parish secretary

Terri Besecker — is working with several other churches in the area who are also reporting empty seats on their papal busses.

Dede Scafella says about 20 people from her parish have already elected not to go

 “As the news comes out and crowds are building people are getting apprehensive about going they’ve already signed up excited about it initially and now they’re getting apprehensive they’re afraid of the walk they’re afraid of the crowds”

But other church officials say the four and a half mile walk  from the bus stop is part of what makes the event a pilgrimage to see one of the most popular men in the world.

“The energy is going to be right there on the parkway with the pope and the pilgrims, not as much on your living room chair watching it on your living room chair.” said Besecker

That energy she says is what makes the pilgrimage worth it — a historic chance to see one of the most influential popes in history.