Local Catholic Church Reacts to Pope Francis’ Visit to Cuba and the U.S.

Saint Ann’s Catholic Church in Cadillac is one of the thousands of Catholic churches in the U.S. excited for the Pope to hit American soil.

“He’s such a huge person. Who, everybody, who doesn’t know the pope? Who’s never heard of the pope?” asked Charles Fenach, a parishioner at St. Ann’s Catholic Church.

As the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has more than one billion followers.

Close encounters aren’t all that common outside of the Vatican.

But tonight, he’s in Cuba — and he’ll be in the U.S. later this week.

“It’s a privilege for anyone that’s able to go see him. I was able to go see Pope John Paul when he was here back in the 80s, and it was a spectacle,” Fenach said.

A visit with the pope is something Charles Fenach will never forget.

“It’s something I’ll always, I can tell my grandchildren about.”

But it’s not all about contact or being in the same room.

To Catholic priest Bryan Medlin, it’s much more than that.

“Watch the TV news stations across the board who will be televising what the pope will be doing and what he will be saying,” Medlin said. “But watch more importantly his actions.”

This time, the Pope’s expected to focus on marriage and family life, morality.

“When a Pope speaks to anything with regards to morality, social justice, people listen because it’s a universal concern that we all have.”

Medlin says the best way for Catholics and non-Catholics alike to prepare is to pray the pope has a safe journey — and to keep your ears open.

“Wait and see what the Pope has to say when he speaks. When he does speak, kind of keep that open ear to what he is saying.”