NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While thousands upon thousands of Catholics will angle to get a glimpse of Pope Francis while he is in New York this week, five extremely lucky children will actually get the once in a lifetime chance to meet him as soon as he gets here.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, Christina Desanges, 15, and four other kids, Raymond Rico, 12, Brianna Wood, 9, Omodele Ojo, 10, and Maria Heyer, 5, will soon know what it’s like to great the Pope face to face.
The five kids from schools in the diocese of Brooklyn known as the diocese of immigrants selected to meet and greet Pope Francis at JFK Airport as he gets off the plane.
“It feels exciting and joyful because he close to God. He can make this world a better place,” Wood said.
The lucky kids will accompany Bishop DiMarzio for the historic, extraordinary moment.
“I think for the children it’s a memorable life moment, they’ll never forget it,” DiMarzio said.
The five were selected out of more than 30,000 students in the Brooklyn diocese, because they all met a very specific criteria.
“A very outgoing energetic child who’s not shy,” Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello said.
They will present Pope Francis with something called a spiritual bouquet, a binder of sorts consisting of prayers and acts of kindness from each of the diocese 86 schools in Brooklyn and Queens.
“My heart is beating rapid right now,” Rico said.
The diocese of Brooklyn said the Pope’s arrival at Kennedy Airport will be an intimate gathering, only 200 people are expected to be on hand.