Tampa students travel to see Pope Francis

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Tampa students travel to see Pope FrancisTAMPA, Fla. (WTSP) -- On the trip of a lifetime, six students from Jesuit High School in Tampa boarded a flight Thursday morning to go see Pope

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Emerald Morrow, 1:08 p.m. EDT September 24, 2015

Tampa students travel to see Pope Francis(Photo: WTSP)

On the trip of a lifetime, six students from Jesuit High School in Tampa boarded a flight Thursday morning to go see Pope Francis in Philadelphia.

"It was kind of really this morning that it set in like, 'hey, we're actually going to Philadelphia. We're going to see the pope," said Brett Gajewski.

The students were handpicked by school staff to be six of thousands who will hear the pope speak at a ticketed event at Independence Hall this weekend.

"It's going to be an incredible experience just to see the holy father who's the best living example of our faith," said Jesuit High School student JJ Niekro. "I just hope to be captivated by his presence."

Local students travel to Philadelphia to see pope

WTSP



The students also talked about this experience as an opportunity to grow in their walk in Catholicism.

"I definitely hope to increase my faith and learn more about my faith and who I am as a person, and hopefully I can spread that to others once I get back," said Jett Angel. "I've been praying about this and talking to my coach and talking to all my teachers. Everyone's been asking me to pray for them."

The trip is especially important to the students, who say they know Pope Francis has an affinity towards young people.

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"He's coming to inspire the new generation of Catholics, which is the youth, and that's what I hope to do, too, just to share the faith, share the ideals and invite them to learn more about the Catholic faith," said Niekro.

"What the pope has to say is really pertinent to the youth, and it should be known," said Alexander Barcenas "So I feel like we have the duty and responsibility to spread what the pope has to say."

Pope Francis will make a stop in New York City before wrapping up his U.S. visit in Philadelphia.

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