Bishop Zubik leading local pilgrimage to Rome

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PITTSBURGH —

With Pope Francis' decision on the April 27 canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Pope John XXIII, Bishop David Zubik will lead a Pittsburgh Catholic pilgrimage to Rome to participate in the ceremony.

The group’s trip will span seven days, from April 25 to May 1.

Travel plans for the 100 people from Pittsburgh while in Rome include the canonization Mass in St. Peter's Square, led by Pope Francis; tours of religious, ancient and modern Roman sites, such as the Sistine Chapel, the catacombs, Vatican Museums and major basilicas including the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains; daily Masses; an audience with Pope Francis, if he is at home; a free day with optional excursions to nearby historic cities; and a special farewell dinner.

Ann Rodgers, who works for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and is making the pilgrimage, said she’s been to Rome for the last two papal transitions and for the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Even though she isn’t Catholic, she sees the historical event as being important for everyone.

“This canonization is of two popes who meant so much, not just to the Catholic church, but these are two popes that affected everybody. They spoke to global Christianity,” Rodgers said.