ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – About two dozen local Catholic teenagers will get to see Pope Francis in person today as they attend World Youth Day festivities in Brazil.

The 21 young people from the St. Louis Archdiocese arrived Monday in Rio. Tuesday night they attended the opening mass on the crowded Copacabana Beach.

“It was really cool. There was close to like a million people on the beach and they were from all around the world,” says Alison Puetz, 16, from Lafayette High School in Wildwood. “It was really weird because it was in Portuguese and I don’t speak Portuguese but besides that it was a really cool experience.”

Wednesday, Puetz’s group heard from another high ranking church leader and fellow St. Louisan.

“We listened to Cardinal Dolan talk to us about hope and stuff like that,” she says.

Today, the St. Louis delegation will see Pope Francis in person for the first time at the official papal welcome and then again later tonight at the Stations of the Cross event back on Copacabana Beach.

The group will return to St. Louis next Tuesday.


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