Bay Area Catholics excited for Pope's U.S. visit

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) – Catholics in the Bay Area told KTVU they were excited on Tuesday for the inaugural visit of Pope Francis to the United States.

KTVU spoke with parishioners at Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland following a noon mass. Parishioner Rama Evert said she asked God to bless Pope Francis during his visit.

“I think all of us who are Catholic are praying for him to have a beautiful visit here and I hope it will benefit everyone in the United States,” Evart said.

The papal’s visit marks the first time a pope has been on U.S. soil since Pope Benedict VI’s visit in 2008.

Michele Angeli Zaugg runs The Cathedral Shop next to the church. She said an exhibit of Pope Francis has been on display for a month.

“You just want to make him part of your family and he makes you feel you are part of his family,” Angeli Zaugg said.

She said a commemorative candle marking the pope’s visit to the United States is selling fast, likely because so many people can identify with him.

“He radiates Christ in his ways, especially in his humility and his friendship with the poor,” she added.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis will meet with President Obama. He will then hold the first-ever canonization Mass on U.S. soil in Washington D.C. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.