NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Pope Francis' first visit to America already has the nation's capital buzzing as families in Louisiana prepare for the pilgrimage to be a part of the Holy See's trip.
"To have him on American soil is beautiful, and it's been amazing to hear especially the way he's been speaking to families. And to know he's coming to speak to families and about families I think it's important," said David Dawson, the director of the Family Life Apostolate for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Dawson and his family leave next week as they travel to be part of the World Meeting of the Families in Philadelphia, where the Pope will address nearly two million people next weekend.
"It makes such an impression on the country, it really does change our capacity to receive faith, you know? It makes a big difference just to have that presence here in our country. Our history has shown that it really does make a big difference," Dawson said.
Some Catholics feel Pope Francis' ability to communicate to the masses opens doors for people outside the faith.
"I think that's why he's touching so many lives of people who aren't even Catholi. He has a charisma that's touching all people of all different faiths," said John Serio, the principal of Archbishop Chapelle High School.
Serio is attending the Pope's address to congress as Sen. Bill Cassidy's guest.
"I think this is a transformative Pope. I think we're seeing a Pope that's bringing about a lot of change not in doctrine in the church, but in the humanity of the church," Serio said.
The Pope lands in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. You can follow FOX 8's special reports from the nation's capital starting Monday evening as we bring you the latest from the historic visit.