Six Brebeuf Jesuit students start pilgrimage to see first Jesuit pope

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Indianapolis, Ind. (September 24, 2015) - When Willa Sasso and William Eckrich heard Pope Francis would be in the United States and six Brebeuf Jesuit students had the chance to see him, they wrote their essays and prayed they'd be picked.

"The reason I said I wanted to go on this trip is because I've been a part of my catholic church for over 15 years, ever since I was a newborn, and coming to Brebeuf the past two years has really opened my eyes to a new Jesuit experience," said Eckrich, a sophomore. "Seeing that this is the first Jesuit pope really sparked my interest."

Sasso is a senior at the school.

"I wrote an essay about how I was really excited about this trip because of all the great things I've seen the pope doing," she said. "I love the pope because about a week before my dog died, he made a statement that all dogs go to heaven. I think it’ll mean a lot to me because of the fact that the pope doesn't often come to the United States and the chance to see him and all the work that he’s doing here in my own country will be an amazing experience."

Four other students were chosen to join Eckrich and Sasso and two faculty members to make the pilgrimage to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

They will join students from more than 40 Jesuit schools in the United States and Canada.

The pilgrimage, called 2 Philly 4 Francis (#2philly4francis), will include an entire weekend full of activities leading up to the opportunity to hear Pope Francis speak on Saturday and to celebrate Mass on Sunday.

"I hope to learn more about how the pope will incorporate some of the foundation that Brebeuf has built upon and how his Jesuit sense of commitment to justice will be incorporated into the catholic church," said Eckrich.

Brebeuf Jesuit is the only Catholic Jesuit school in the state of Indiana.

Three students and a theology teacher from Cathedral are also going.

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