Nebraskans among hundreds of thousands in Philly for Pope’s final mass

Posted by: KLKN Newsroom

It’s the Pope’s final day in the United States and thousands of people gathered in Philadelphia, waiting hours to see him.

If there were any doubts Sunday’s Papal Mass is the climax of the Pope’s historic visit to the U.S., all you needed to do was look at the crowds for confirmation.

Our reporters on scene estimated with they were quadruple from what they saw yesterday, from the train ride to security check points.

People we spoke with had already been waiting for two hours and they had at least another two hours before they would reach the screening area.

And one thing most of these people seemed to have in common was their souvenirs. 

The official merchandise tent was a place of non stop activity.

We’re told the Pope Francis medal, Italian wood rosary and Pope Francis dolls were the biggest sellers. (take sot)

"The Francis medal, anything with him on it. We worked for 16 hours yesterday and we were busy for 16 hours yesterday. It was great,” said vendor Dominic Digiorgio.

“One rosary is for us and one is for my dad back home and one for a woman he works with who was excited we were coming and wanted us to bring something,” said Catholics Julie King and Michael Duhaime.

“It’s a lifetime keepsake for the time that we are here. It’s so special you know….to have a memory,” they added.

It’s been a long day few days for the pilgrims from the Lincoln Diocese and this will be the longest of them all day but they all say it’s worth it.

John and Debie Crotty, from Auburn, have been in Philadelphia all week long arriving in the city on Tuesday for the world meeting of families. 

We first introduced you tinted last week as they were preparing to make the pilgrimage.

They’ve said the whole experience has lived up to their expectations.

"It’s a tremendous blessing it’s been delightful we’ve had many experiences that will create memories for a lifetime,” the couple said.

“Just the challenge of traveling on a bus 24 hours and getting to know the people on the bus is really just a lot of fun,” the Auburn couple added.

Now it’s the 24 hour ride home to Nebraska. 

But these pilgrims have a lot to think about.