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Bishop Rhoades will meet with Pope Francis during US visit

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne and South Bend is just one of many locals making the journey to Washington D.C and Philadelphia this week to see Pope Francis. Unlike most people making the pilgrimage, Bishop Rhoades will meet with Pope Francis along with other bishops from across the country.

ABC57's Drew Gardner sat down exclusively with Bishop Rhoades to talk about what he is expecting from this historic visit.

"I think Pope Francis is the Pope of surprises and even in his other visits to other countries there's always been some surprise," Bishop Rhoades said.

That's something Bishop Rhoades expects Pope Francis to bring on his first visit to the U.S.

"I think there is a lot of excitement because we don't know. I mean we have his itinerary, but we don't know what he's going to say or what he's going to do," Bishop Rhoades said.

The bishop has already met the Pope twice before.

The first time in his chapel at Casa Santa Marta.

"It felt like it was a mass in any little parish church. He was very simple. He gave a beautiful homily from the heart," Bishop Rhoades said.

The two even shared a brief chat after.

But it would be their next chat that would prove much more memorable and show yet another side of the Holy Father.

"I was mixing up Spanish and Italian when I was speaking to him. He just started laughing while I was talking and he said 'Don't worry. I mix them up all the time.' So I thought that was very humble too," Bishop Rhoades said.

It was on that trip the Bishop was able to share his experience with the younger generation.

"I was there with a group of students from St Mary's College, Notre Dame and the President of St Mary's College and presenting letters to him form young women, young Catholic women and he was very moved by that," Bishop Rhoades said.

It's that accessibility the bishop expects to be on display in DC, New York and Philadelphia.

An accessibility and a message he hopes will inspire this country as it has others around the world.

"I'm hoping it will be a good shot in the arm for the church across the United States. In particular in our diocese as well that there will be a renewed zeal for the faith," Bishop Rhoades said.

The bishop will also be taking part in the World Meeting of the Families - which is taking place in the US for the first time.
 

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