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Wichitans Head To Philadelphia For Historic Pope Visit

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Pope Francis is scheduled to ride in a papal parade this Saturday prior to the Festival of Families celebration in Philadelphia. Some Wichita Catholics have traveled to the East Coast to see the pope.

Thanh Phan and is wife Ha Tran have been planning this trip for months. The couple joined a group of Wichita Vietnamese Catholics to make the trip and are staying with friends who live just three blocks from the event. Thanh says he can hardly wait to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father.

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Credit Andrew Harnik / AP
Pope Francis arrives at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland Tuesday on his first visit to the U.S.

"To me he’s a very special pope," he says. "We call him 'the people’s pope,' and he makes a lot of new things. He tries to guide the church back to tradition. That’s what I like, so it’s exciting."

The Phans plan to take lots of photos of Pope Francis and share their visit with their family and parish in Wichita. It's the pontiff’s first visit to the U.S.

Pope Francis is from Latin America and was elected by the College of Cardinals in March 2013.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.