Local News

Raleigh Students On Hand To See One Of Pope's Last Public Appearances

Posted April 4, 2005 4:50 a.m. EDT

— On Easter Sunday, thousands of people attended mass at the Vatican. More than 40 students from Cardinal Gibbons High School were among them. Little did they know that they were going to be a part of history.

Kristina Boyce and Mark Esposito will never forget that day. They saw

Pope John Paul II

come to his apartment window.

"We got a couple close-ups. He was still really small," Boyce said.

"It overwhelmed me. It made me strong to see him," Esposito said.

It would become one of the Pope's last public appearances. The students soon figured out what they were seeing was special.

"When he came out and attempted to speak, I realized how strong he really is and how much he loved every person that was there and how much he loved the world. I felt closer to him," Boyce said.

Just hours after the group returned home, word came that the Pope had passed away. Assistant Principal and Chaperone Mike Rogosich said he is not surprised the pope's brief appearance will likely have a lasting impression on his students that were there.

"I think kids have a natural barometer to judge authenticity and I think they saw it with this pope," he said.

Cardinal Gibbons is planning special events for both the funeral of the pope and for the nomination of a new pope.