In a matter of days, nine Niagara University students will embark on what many consider to be the trip of a lifetime.
“I’m so excited to see the Pope,” Veronica Grande tells 7 Eyewitness News.
The students are making the trek to Philadelphia by bus Friday. They will join more than one million others, all hoping to catch a peek of Pope Francis during the last leg of the 78 year old’s U.S. visit.
“It’s a great opportunity to show off the faith almost and it’s a great way for people to learn more,” says Campus Minister Ashley Serwon,
The religious pilgrimage comes at a time when a growing number of millennials are religiously unaffiliated.
A recent study conducted by the pew research center found that 36 percent of younger millennials are religiously unaffiliated compared with just 17 percent of baby boomers and 11 percent of the silent generation.
But local religious leaders say this rare visit by the leader of the Catholic Church is a time for all to hear a message from a great speaker and religious figure.
“The visit of the pope is a wonderful opportunity for me but not just for me or not just for me or not just for priests or not just for Catholics but really for everybody to get a message,” says Father Paul Seil.