By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — News that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia next year is sparking excitement within Catholic parishes across the city.

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For the past 20 years, Our Lady of Hope Parish on North Broad Street has seen hard times.

“Our parish is a poor parish,” says Pastor Effrin Esmilla.

Esmilla says the parish is made up of low income, Latino, Filipino and African American Parishioners, and it’s been hard to grow the 400-strong congregation — but now that Pope Francis coming to town — the future seems bright.

“With the presence of the Pope,” Esmilla says, “everything seems possible.”

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Sister Gertrude Borres of St. Francis De Sales Parish says the Pope’s visit will breath new life into area parishes at a time when it’s definitely needed.

“We’ve been looking forward to this,” she says, “That means he considers America to be important and that makes a difference to us.”

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