Stanton Parishioners Meet $23,000 Goal for Trip to See Pope Fran - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Stanton Parishioners Meet $23,000 Goal for Trip to See Pope Francis in U.S.

STANTON, TX (KWES) -

After two years of hard work and fundraisers, one group of parishioners from Stanton will see Pope Francis in person in just two weeks.

The Pope is headed to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. 

"We all just decided excitedly, 'Yeah, let's do it!'" said Mauro Sotelo, Director of Guadalupanos of St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

14 members of the St. Joseph's Guadalupanos are packing their bags for Philadelphia.

"I'm already starting to pack little things. What do I need? What do I not? Little things like that," said Sotelo.

Two years ago, they made it their goal to raise the $23,000 dollars needed to see Pope Francis in person.

After countless fundraisers like volleyball tournaments, plate sales, festivals, dances and raffles, their dream became a reality.

"There were times where I was like, 'Oh my gosh, Lord help us. I don't think it's gonna happen,' but still try to encourage our group, 'Yeah, we can do it! We can do it!' and inside I'm like, 'Oh, señor,'" said Sotelo.

It's the group's first time fundraising for something this big and most of the money raised came from their own community.

"A lot of our members have never been in front or close to a Pope or in the presence of one. So this is going to be something really exciting," said Sotelo.

Possibly the biggest dose of reality since the good news hit, we asked Sotelo what he would do if he had five minutes with Pope Francis?

"I know I would have a lot of questions, but as soon as I'd get in front of him, I'd be like, 'What do I ask now? What do I say?' Just being in front of him would be an amazing thing," said Sotelo.

We're told the trip will be for a week. They're also attending a conference started by Saint John Paul II while they're on the East Coast. 

NewsWest 9 was also promised a picture of when they see the Pope for the first time so we'll be sure to share it with you all as soon as we get it.

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