MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - The anticipation of the pope's visit to the U.S. can be felt here in the Grand Strand. Despite the pope being hundreds of miles away, some local students are feeling a connection to this historic moment in Catholic history.
This week the hallways at St. Michael Catholic School in Murrells Inlet have been filled with excitement as the students are learning about Pope Francis and his visit here to the United States and why him being here is so important.
The 6th grade students were in full attention as they watched Pope Francis during a midday prayer service in Washington, D.C.
Andy Thomas, the middle school religion teacher at St. Michael Catholic School, says the students have really been engaged in learning about the pope's anticipated visit. "There's an excitement throughout the country particularly because he has been in the news so much recently for his humility, he is known for being very humble," he said.
The hallway at the school is filled with pictures of the pope and prayers for him. The second graders are learning about Pope Francis' visit. The lesson is filled with maps, learning about cultures, where Pope Francis is from and where he will be visiting.
The students also learn about the different languages he speaks and the message he wants to share while in America.
Thomas said, " He comes with a message, he comes to bring peace just as Christ brought peace to those in need, and he certainly has a message that we all want to be attentive to."
The students understand his message, as they offer prayers for him. One student prayed, Pope Francis will have a safe trip to America. Another student prayed that people will follow him, while one student prayed that he will teach people about God.
The monumental moment will be cherished by a few students, as they will travel to Philadelphia Friday morning for the opportunity to see Pope Francis.
Diana Demore is a seventh grader at St. Michael Catholic School, she said, "It's just that the pope is very high position in the Catholic Church and to be there with him is an amazing opportunity."
"Not everybody gets this chance to be there with the pope so its really important to me," said 5th grader, Sophia Demore, who will also travel to see Pope Francis.
Thomas said the pope's visit is a valuable lesson for the students that will not come from a textbook. "Truly the aspect of having a pope from the Americas, I think is groundbreaking, so for our kids not only is it important to know that the pope is here, but to have some sense of where we are in our country in this time of the world and how his presence is greatly impacting all of our lives.
Pamela Walters is principal at St. Michael Catholic School, she will travel to Philadelphia to be in the presence of the pope. She plans to take more than 160 rosary beads to have them blessed by the pope to give to the students at the school.