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Newark Archbishop, Schoolchildren Thrilled About Pope Francis' Visit

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Pope Francis is not scheduled to visit New Jersey during his time in the U.S. – he will only fly over.

But as CBS2's Christine Sloan reported, there was still plenty of excitement in the Newark Archdiocese.

Newark Archbishop John Joseph Myers visited students Tuesday at St. Joseph's School in East Orange to talk about Pope Francis' visit to the area.

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Preschoolers' comments were cute – one little boy said, "Good morning, God," to him. But his conversations with middle schoolers were more serious.

"Why are you and the pope meeting?" one student asked.

"Well, the pope is coming to this country," Myers replied. "He's here for the celebration of families."

"Besides meeting Pope Francis, how many popes have you seen or visited?" asked another student, Maria Martinez.

"Pope Paul VI was the pope when I was a student in Rome," Myers replied.

Myers also told a story about meeting Pope John Paul II at his residence, a favorite with the kids.

"Mother Teresa came in with 18 of her sisters," he said.

The archbishop said Pope Francis likes a good laugh.

"He jokes all the time. He has a good sense of humor. He has deep convictions, and we'll learn more about them during his talk this week," Myers said. "And he's very serious and very prayerful when he says the liturgy for his holy mass."

None of the students at the school will be going to the pope's mass at Madison Square Garden on Friday, but they said will be watching the Holy Father on TV.

To see a complete schedule of the pope's upcoming visit, click here.

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