PHILADELPHIA (WOOD) — For a West Michigan family, Pope Francis’ visit is an opportunity to strengthen the ties that bind their family together.
The Periera family is making the pilgrimage from their Rockford area home to Philadelphia with three generations of their clan.
“To be able to go with the kids and for them to be able to experience the larger church, the global church, and then the world meeting of families, it’s going to be an experience we never forget,” said Laura Ashmore, grandmother of the group.
The family will take part in the World Meeting of Families.
And that’s exactly what’s happening on the streets of Philadelphia.
“We’re pretty excited about taking this pilgrimage with our entire family and building our unit and bonding together… bonding more together,” said Clive Periera.
Clive and his wife, Amy were the ones who came up with the idea to take the whole family.
“They’ve built us up in their faith, shared their faith with us, and now were getting the ability to pass it on to our children,” Amy said of her parents.
Family memories can sometimes go sideways on long road trips, as the patriarch of this group is well aware.
“Our expectation is I don’t want to be ‘grumpy grandpa.’ I want this to be remembered as a faith experience, something that helps bring us closer to God,” said John Ashmore, Amy’s father.
24 Hour News 8’s Brian Sterling is in Philadelphia for Pope Francis’ visit. You can follow him on Twitter @BriSterling .