For Tampa woman, third pope a charm

Families from across the Bay Area are planning trips to see Pope Francis when he visits the U.S. this week.

The pope arrives Tuesday at Joint Base Andrews, before making stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia during the next five days.

Cathleen Curry of Tampa was lucky enough to get tickets through a lottery system to see the pope three times in Philadelphia.

"The biggest joy was to get the papal mass. I was shocked," Curry said. "[It was] divine intervention, absolutely."

For Curry, this will be a family affair. She is going with her 83-year-old mother, Catherine, 16-year-old daughter, and several other family members.

"When you start thinking about the experience that's when you start thinking, 'Wow, we're really doing this,'" she said. "We potentially will see the pope."

The family's trip will include the chance to listen to Pope Francis speak about immigration at Independence Hall.

They will also be among the 80,000 ticket-holders who will be allowed in the secured area during Sunday Mass; more than a million people are expected to attend.

This is the third pope that Catherine Curry will have seen since 1965; she also saw Pope Paul VI in New York and Pope John Paul II in Rome.

But she said she's most excited about Pope Francis.

"I'm in awe of him," she said. "It's almost like stepping out of church. You just feel so awesome and I think I'm going to feel that way when I see the pope."

Catherine Curry said what she's most excited for is to get to witness history with her loved ones.

"Faith, family, love. Those are the three words that describe this," she said. "It's wonderful to be able to go and I'm excited."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is also getting the chance to be a part of this experience.

President Obama invited Buckhorn, who is Irish Catholic, to help greet him on the South Lawn of the White House.

"It's an amazing honor for me. It is an amazing experience for America to be able to welcome the pope to the  United States," Buckhorn told FOX 13. "Just to be in the presence of the pope is going to be an amazing experience. I've never seen a pope in real life."