Catholic students in Virginia Beach react to U.S. visit by Pope Francis

Posted at 5:20 PM, Sep 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-23 17:20:22-04

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - The arrival of Pope Francis for his first visit to the United States has sparked a lot of excitement across the country, including in Hampton Roads.

On Tuesday, as Pope Francis visited the White House, NewsChannel 3 spoke with students at St. John The Apostle Catholic School in Virginia Beach.

The students, who have been learning about the Pope during religious education classes, are excited about his first trip.

"I feel like really it’s a great honor to have him here on our soil and I'm surprised he would come this far to talk to us about the faith," 8th grader Evan Dooley shared with NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

"I'm excited and hopefully that he can come and bless the United States," 6th grader Brandon Rohrer exclaimed.

"I think that it's wonderful that he's preaching to everyone and spreading the good Word," 7th grade student Austin Miranda said.

Middle School Religion Coordinator Eileen Mayette has been in the presence of Pope Francis twice overseas.

She's shared those experiences with students and now sees the arrival of the Pope in the United States as a perfect teaching moment.

"We talk with the kids about the Pope. They hear about him and he's kind of this distant figure, so to actually see him in front of the White House and at the airport and with the President is just amazing for myself and the kids, for them it just really makes it real," she said.

Students at Saint John the Apostle Catholic School will continue learning about the Pope with special activities and projects this week that coincide with his trip to the United States.

Click here for all of our coverage on Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.