Dozens of Southwest Florida’s faithful head to Philadelphia for Papal visit

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NORTH NAPLES, Fla – 38 parishioners from St. John the Evangelist Church in North Naples flew to Philadelphia on Monday for a week of activities leading up to the Papal visit.

Parishoner Rick Beebe is taking his family on the trip. “I think it’s great that we are able to do it. And I think it goes along with our parish and how active we want to be in our community and in our Catholic faith.”

Jean-Paul Boucher is also bringing his family to the World Meeting of families. “For my kids this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The highlight for the group, a mass on Sunday celebrated by Pope Francis.  Mary Lou Kanagh is also making the trip and is a big fan of the Pontiff. “He’s a vibrant example of reaching out and reaching down to everyone who has absolutely nothing…and wanting to help them and showing us now how to do it.”

The group will also participate in acts of service, helping to pack meals-ready-to-eat for those in need in Kenya. The project was organized in conjunction with Catholic Relief Services.

Jean-Paul Boucher, who organized the trip for the parish, expects this project to be one of their most rewarding activities, and something Pope Francis would embrace. “Sometimes we focus on faith as in prayer or just the scripture, and scripture is the core of it…but without the action which is essential for the catholic faith in particular, showing good works and making people’s lives better…that’s what he is about.”

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