“Never had an experience like this:” Marquette University arranges for students to see Pope Francis

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MILWAUKEE -- The first Jesuit pope is coming to the United States. And that has Marquette University, a Jesuit school, more than excited. The university is sending two lucky students to his visit in Philadelphia.

"I'm very excited. The Pope was elected on my birthday, so I call him my birthday pope. He's special to me," said Aaron Tyler McCoy, traveling to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis.

Aaron Tyler McCoy

Aaron Tyler McCoy

That's an added incentive for Aaron Tyler McCoy, a Marquette University graduate student in theology, to see Pope Francic during his U.S. visit next week. And he'll get that opportunity, the school is sending him and undergrad, Dan Barrett, to Philadelphia for the papal visit.

"Having a Jesuit pope and going to a Jesuit institution, it's a really, really cool thing and we're all excited here to see what's to come with Pope Francis," said Barrett.

The Pope's Philadelphia appearance coincides with the 8th World Meeting of Families -- one million people are expected.

"I've never had an experience like this. I don't think I've ever been in a crowd that would be so big," said Barrett.

Dan Barrett

Dan Barrett

Barrett specializes in digital media and McCoy is a writer. They'll be capturing the experience for Marquette.

"With a lot of things that Pope Francis is talking about, a lot of those values relate exactly to things that we're all about here at Marquette," said McCoy said.

McCoy and Barrett say they'll walk a mini four-mile pilgrimage from where they're staying, to where the events are taking place, but that's okay with them. And the young men even know what they would say to Pope Francis -- words of gratitude and encouragement.

"I would say 'thank you.' All the things that the pope is doing, he's just breathing life back into the church that I think we need. And reorienting us on all the things that are important," said McCoy.

"I would just say 'keep going. Don't stop what you've already started,'" said Barrett.

McCoy and Barrett know what they would say to the pope, here's hoping they get that small chance to do so.

1 Comment

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