Raleigh, N.C. — A group of students and teachers from Raleigh's Cardinal Gibbons Catholic High School are traveling to Rome this week. The long-planned pilgrimage took on additional meaning with the elevation of a new pope.
Senior Michael Shulby is among those on the trip and shared his expectations and anticipation. He wrote:
This is a very exciting time for the Catholic Church as a new pope has been elected.
Pope Francis has already portrayed differences in his papacy than past, more traditional popes. To see our newly elected pope take the bus back to his hotel and pay for his room and hear that he wanted to keep his older black shoes instead of being fitted for the new red papal shoes, proves that he is already changing the Church, in a good way.
I am incredibly excited to be attending Pope Francis's first major Mass on Easter as part of my group representing my school, Cardinal Gibbons, in Rome. As a practicing Catholic, being in Rome will be an amazing experience as it is home to the capital of the Catholic Church.
Though I went to Rome back in 2001 with my family, at the age of 6, and remember much of it, this trip will be more memorable as I understand Catholicism and am more mature to absorb the history and understand it better.
Michael and his classmates will share photos and impressions after their trip as well.