A Chance Of A Lifetime

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he is driven through the crowd during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 9, 2008. The pontiff is scheduled to visit Washington D.C. and New York in his upcoming April 15-20 US trip. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
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Next week marks Pope Benedict XVI's first time coming to the U.S. as Pope. Even though he'll be miles away, some families in the Mid-Ohio Valley are planning to travel to him.

Yvonne Powderly still remembers the times she saw Pope John Paul II.

"As usual we were running a bit late. So the streets were empty because everybody else was at the venue where they should be and I had two of the children and Brian had the other two. Then the pope mobile came along, and he was in it and looked over and saw us and he waved," said Powderly.

"I just always felt that our family had been blessed and especially the children had been blessed."

This time it will just be her and her husband going to see Pope Benedict XVI in New York at Yankee Stadium but first he'll make a stop at Nationals Stadium in Washington, D.C.

That's where the Mendoza's will see him.

"He's arriving on the sixteenth, and his birthday is actually the same day as my wife's birthday," said David Mendoza of Parkersburg.

It's a birthday gift he couldn't buy because the tickets are free but the Mendoza's were some of the lucky few to get them.

"I'm just really excited to be going!" said David's wife, Heather Mendoza.
Her son is also very excited.

"The Pope's a great man. He's the leader of the Church, just like Peter when Jesus told Peter to be the leader of the Church," said Wesley Mendoza who's in the 5th grade at Kanawha Elementary.

For some kids just going to DC is a special trip but it's more for this ten- year-old.

"It feels good because this could be like only a once in a lifetime chance and not many people get to see this," said Wesley Mendoza.

Not many people do get to see the Pope but those that do like the Powderly's, never forget.

Other members of Saint Margaret Mary Church in Parkersburg and Sacred Heart Church in Pomeroy will be making trips to see the Holy Father.

The Pope is scheduled to arrive in D.C. April 15 and his other plans include visiting the White House, Ground Zero, the United Nations and more until he's scheduled to leave April 21.

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