'Be Adventurous': 25 Relatives Ready for Pilgrimage to See Pope Francis in Mexico - NBC New York
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'Be Adventurous': 25 Relatives Ready for Pilgrimage to See Pope Francis in Mexico

"it started off as a 'maybe,' then trickled off as, 'OK four of us go,' and so on, and so on and so on"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Families Prepare to Travel to See Pope Francis

    Many North Texas families are traveling to see Pope Francis visit their native Mexico. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016)

    As Pope Francis prepares for a six-day trip Mexico this week, many North Texas Catholics are getting ready to make the trip across the border to see the Pontiff.

    A group of 25 relatives in Dallas will depart Thursday from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to see the leader of the Catholic Church.

    Maria Gonzalez Rocha and her husband, Israel Rocha, actually saw the pope in Philadelphia last year.

    "Last time we went to Philly. We didn't get to go inside mass. We just saw him when he did his walk," Maria Gonzalez Rocha said.

    For the couple, just seeing the pope from afar was enough for them. It was a dream come true. But then the couple heard the Pope Francis would be in their native Mexico City.

    "When we first heard the news about him going to Mexico City it started off as a 'maybe,' then trickled off as, 'OK four of us go,' and so on, and so on and so on," said Israel Rocha.

    For Maria Gonzalez Rocha, this time around would be more special because she will have the opportunity to see the leader of the Catholic Church in her native land surrounded by her culture.

    "For me going down there it's like, why not, that's where I get my faith," she said. "So now I am going to go back and share my faith with him and the rest of the pilgrims."

    And it's faith that will help the 25 relatives make the five-day pilgrimage to Mexico City. Maria Gonzalez Rocha admitted they were a bit crazy to take on such an adventure especially since more than half the people they are traveling with have never taken on such a journey.

    "They are very scared because they don't know what to expect, but I just say you have to have faith and be adventurous and enjoy every moment," she said.

    For Israel Rocha, it was important to make this road trip and meet the man they say really reaches the masses.

    "He's more up-front the way he says stuff. He's so simple – simple words that have a big meaning," he said.

    It will afford them more time together and come back more inspired than before.

    "Even though you don't expect that you always come back a different person," said Maria Gonzalez Rocha.

    Pope Francis arrives in Mexico City on Friday. He will hold a mass on Saturday. The pope will end his six-day trip in Ciudad Juarez by holding a mass at the U.S.-Mexico border.