Chicagoans attend pope's D.C. stadium Mass

April 17, 2008 5:35:13 PM PDT
Devout Catholics like Otmar and Anna Scheer of Niles made this trip.Anna has a special connection to Pope Benedict. She was born in his hometown and baptized in the same church. This is the fourth time she has seen the Pope.

"Just being in his presence is the thrill of a lifetime," she said.

"It's hard to express the enthusiasm to somebody else that isn't here, you know? But to us, it means a lot," said Otmar Scheer.

Before the Mass even started, John Angotti had the honor of singing before the crowd. He attends St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Naperville.

"It was just something that came really naturally. And there was no nerves or anything of that nature. And just being blessed to be able to be here," he said.

And once the pope entered Nationals Park and began the Mass, 45,000 people followed along in their programs. A Franklin Park business owner made and donated the pamphlets.

"It was unbelievable. It was unbelievable to be here. But then to turn every which way and see those programs and people used them and singing and praising and praying. And it was marvelous," said Mary Lou Paluch- Rafferty, Franklin Park businesswoman.

"He was saying how people who are baptized and stray away, it makes you more want to stick with it and get other people to as well," said Carlos Moersen, Chicago's De La Salle High School, student.

"A once in a lifetime chance, and if you ever get the chance you definitely have to take a hold of it," said Will Watkins, De La Salle High School, student.

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