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Archbishop, Florida Press Prepare For Pope's Visit

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski is headed to Cuba along with Pope Francis next week.

CBS4's Michele Gillen asked Wenski, "What do you think is going to surge through you when you see him get off that plane?

"I think the natural excitement that everybody else will be feeling," said Wenski.

He'll be the South Florida Shepard of a pilgrimage expected to make history.

On Thursday, he was gearing up for the trip with the Florida Press Corp that will head to capture what is expected to be an experience of a lifetime for Florida pilgrims heading to Cuba to greet Pope Francis.

The pope has a rock star quality to him but there is also substance to him and to what he says.

A delegation of 189 will accompany the pontiff as he heads to Havana next Friday on a charger flight out of Miami International Airport.

Pope Francis will later continue on his own to Holguin and Santiago.

Once the pope leaves Cuba, he'll head to the U.S., stopping into Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.

It's an experience shared around the world and entrusted to a team of South Florida communicators.

"We will be working with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. We want to be on as many platforms as possible to spread the message that  Pope Francis will be saying to us," said Archdiocese of Miami Social Media Specialist Juan Di Prado.

"Whether you are Catholic or not, this is a great opportunity to meet a man that is changing the world. And how nice for me to be a part of it," said Archdiocese of Miami Communications Director Mary Ross Agosta.

It's especially nice for those beginning the journey that starts in just eight days.

"I expect this will be a healing experience for those going with me but also we are going to express our solidarity with the church of Cuba," said Wenski.

As for coverage, CBS4's Rick Folbaum will be in Cuba covering Pope Francis' visit starting September 18th.


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