PHILADELPHIA (FOX 32 News) -- We found more Chicagoans among the thousands of people who came to Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Saturday to see Pope Francis. Mundelein Seminary social media expert and seminarian Ryan Adorjan was attending the World Meeting of Families and sharing the Pope’s travels on Twitter. He said Pope Francis helps the Church reach a wider audience.
“That’s what his whole pontificate has been about: there is hope in the church, there is hope in the Lord, there is hope for our society and our humanity,” Adorjan said. “That is what people want. People want hope, hope, hope, hope.”
Saturday night’s concert drew a huge crowd that stretched for more than a mile. The huge throng began assembling hours beforehand. With most unable even to glimpse the stage, they saw the show on dozens of giant jumbotrons. People we spoke with said they could feel Pope Francis’ warmth and love, even at a distance.
“Pope Francis has a capturing the message of the church and showing people love and letting them experience that. And that is what people want to hear, what people want to feel,” said Kathleen Quinlan, who works at Mundelein Seminary and came hoping to see Pope Francis. “That brings people to the doors of the church or at least opens their eyes to wanting to experience a relationship with God.”
The experience of being together with so many Catholics has been one they won’t soon forget.
“We keep saying how strange it’s going to be to go back to the ‘real world’ where we’re not surrounded by so many faithful people, but it’s going to re-energize us to evangelize and live our faith,” said Chicago-area resident Kathleen Early.