By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — News that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia next year is sparking excitement within Catholic parishes across the city.READ MORE: Haddon Township Man, Dog Complete 7-Year, 38-Country Walk Around World
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.”READ MORE: Sources: Authorities Investigating Whether 2 Police Officers Struck By Stray Bullets On Ben Franklin Parkway
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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