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Pilgrims from the heart of America visit Rome

2015-05-24

Father Jerry Rodenfels is the pastor of a large Catholic parish in New Albany, Ohio. After nearly one year of planning, he brought dozens of his parishioners to Rome to see Pope Francis. Though they only speak English, the pastor said the Pope's general audience was still a powerful moment for them.

FR. JERRY RODENFELS
Church of the Resurrection (Ohio)
"I appreciate the fact that it is done in different languages. I think that helps communicate the international nature of the Church. It's not specifically European. It's great to see the Pope. It was my first time here to see Pope Francis.”

Their church is nearly 5,000 miles from Rome. But it's still the type of active parish that Pope Francis has repeatedly said that the Catholic Church needs. It has more than 2,300 families, and they have diverse ministries. 

FR. JERRY RODENFELS
Church of the Resurrection (Ohio)
"We have a very active parish, in terms of different ministries or groups. From preschool religion classes all the way to a senior citizen group. People are involved. They're active. They're committed to the parish. They're very supportive.”

The congregation praised Pope Francis and found him charismatic. Indeed, it was a very special trip for most of the pilgrims: Most were visiting Rome for the first time.
 
FR. JERRY RODENFELS
Church of the Resurrection (Ohio)
"I would say more than half. So they are enjoying it so far.”

The group is enjoying a classic trip to Rome: seeing the Pope at his general audience, touring the inside of the Vatican, and viewing other great sites around the Eternal City.

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