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Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 12:14 UK
Cornish Catholics prepare to visit the Pope

Pope Benedict XVI pIC: AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca
Pope Benedict XVI is coming to the UK

A group of people from Cornwall are preparing for a very special trip.

For many Catholics it will be their one and only chance to see Pope Benedict the 16th.

Catholics from Cornwall will be making their own pilgrimage over to London for the Papal visit.

BBC Radio Cornwall's Donna Birrell spoke to them about their feelings before they go.

During Donna's Breakfast Show on Sunday 12 September she will be speaking to some of the pilgrims and the importance of the visit.

The programme begins at 6am and runs through until 9am. It can also be heard again on the BBC iplayer.

Robbie Low

Robbie Low was an Anglican Minister for more than 20 years until he converted to Catholicism. He now lives in Fowey.

Robbie Low

He will be travelling up to Birmingham to see the Pope on Sunday.

Robbie says: "I became a Catholic in 2004. I think over the 35 years I was an Anglican I had many wonderful experiences but I realised I was becoming more closely identified in my spirituality and belief with the Catholic faith.

"One of the great joys of the Catholic faith is you just get on with it, and that is the teaching of the church. Not all of it is comfortable but you know what it is.

"Making the decision to become a Catholic was a huge thing for us and the whole family. But I haven't had a day when I have regretted it or been anything less than really joyful about it."

Father John Bielawski

Father John Bielawski, Priest at St Mary Immaculate in Falmouth is travelling to Westminster Abbey for Mass with the Pope.

Father John Bielawski

He says: "I was baptised a month after I was born, so all my life I have been a Catholic. Even in my teens, my faith has always been a big part of me.

"I went off to train to be a priest when I was 22. I have been a priest for 20 years.

"To me God's existence is the most logical, plausible thing there is.

"I will be listening very closely to the Pope. It will be interesting to hear what he actually has to say.

"There will be a subtle but profound message for this country which I will be looking for and looking forward to because I know he will have one."

Neil Anderson

Neil Anderson is the Head Teacher of St Michael's Catholic School in Truro. He is travelling to see the Pope in Birmingham.

Neil Anderson

Neil says: "I became a Catholic at 18 years old having travelled around France trying to question and search. I ended up in a Cistercian monastery for a short time. I was really amazed by the peace and the life that these Cistercians led.

"I was introduced to Our Lady and her as a mother and that's what really drew me into the church.

"We received an invitation to attend the Pope's visit. I couldn't refuse such a wonderful opportunity. It means a great deal.

"The great thing is that Pope Benedict is coming to Britain and he's going to bring a message of hope and peace."

Father Chris Findlay-Wilson

Father Chris Findlay-Wilson from the Catholic Church in Camborne is travelling up to see the Pope with twenty two of his parishioners.

Father Chris Findlay-Wilson

He says: "I came from a Catholic family and I was ordained as a priest 13 years ago.

"Our coach leaves Camborne and we travel to Birmingham. It is a great honour that he's coming to England.

"When he was writing to the Bishops back in February he said he was coming to England to witness our faith, and to confirm and strengthen our faith.

"We feel honoured but we also feel we want to share our faith with him and to be strengthened by his presence among us."




SEE ALSO
Profile: Pope Benedict XVI
25 Dec 09 |  Europe

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