Chicago family to follow pope without event tickets

"We feel the spirit here, even on the way coming from Chicago to Washington, we could feel it. It was very nice, wonderful," she said.

Pilar and Rosilo Castro of Chicago have been married 25 years. They have four children. Two of them were there Wednesday - 13-year-old Pilar and Carolina, who's 18. They say Catholicism has changed their faith and their family.

"We really didn't go to church that much and then when they started going to church, we started becoming more of a family. And seeing that they've become so happy with this. And then when I go, I see ti and it makes me hapy because it gives me something to believe in. It gives me hope and faith," said daughter Pilar Castro.

"I talk to my kids now, I can understand them a little more. I can see the will of God as a family, holding the family, it's very important for us," said Rosilo Castro.

They say they are strong now. Just five years ago, Pilar Castro and her husband were on the brink of divorce. They say the church changed their lives and that's why they are there with 230 parishioners from Illinois. The group lined a block along Pennsylvania Avenue. Carolina Castro stood atop a newspaper stand, all of them waiting and hoping for this moment, a chance to see the Pope Benedict XVI.

"It was amazing to see him right in front of me, to see him so close to me, it was really amazing," said Carolina Castro.

"This is the first time when all our family is going to this church thing. We've done it before but not as big as this. And it's a really fun experience for me because it's my first time," said daughter Pilar Castro.

"It feels great, it feels something in my heart, it's just so close," said Rosilo Castro.
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