Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Charlotte diocese pays for young pilgrims to see pope

Young Catholics -- a few hundred thousand of them, at least -- are in Rio de Janeiro to join Pope Francis in celebrating the annual World Youth Day festival.

It's the Argentinian pope's first overseas trip since he became leader of the Roman Catholic Church in March.

The revelers there to cheer him on include a dozen or so young people and their adult chaperones from the Diocese of Charlotte.

These local pilgrims almost didn't get to go: ITC Tours, the travel agency arranging World Youth Day packages for young people in 20 U.S. dioceses claimed bankruptcy in June.

Gone, suddenly, was the $25,000 the Charlotte group had paid for the trip to Brazil.

But there's a happy ending: The diocese came to the rescue, paying for the group's airfare and hotel stay.

For more details on what happened, check out the report in Charlotte's diocesan newspaper, The Catholic News Herald.

To follow the Charlotte pilgrims on Twitter: @queencityym. Also check out the Charlotte Youth Ministry's Facebook page.

One of the tweets includes a link to a photo of the group at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Identified in the photo are: Rebekah Torres, Katie Herzing, Evan Lance, Michael Myers, Daniel Torres and Brandon Berryhill.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, NPR previewed World Youth Day by interviewing a young S.C. woman who had converted to Catholicism.

Hannah Mayo lives in Charleston, and here's what she had to say.

-- Tim Funk