Hundreds of people from the Brazilian community in Ireland are preparing for a special Mass to celebrate the pope’s historic visit.
More than 500 people are expected to take part in the Portuguese language celebration at St Mary of the Angels Church in Dublin city centre on Friday evening.
It will be attended by Brazilian Bishop Joao Bosco Barbosa de Sousa, who has flown to Dublin especially for Pope Francis’s visit and the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) event.
Ricardo Fronz, of the Catolicos em Dublin group, said the community are extremely excited by the pontiff’s visit and they want to mark the occasion with a Mass of their own.
“The Pope was chosen by the Holy Spirit, by God, he’s the second (in) command here on the Earth so, for us, I have no words,” he said.
“The community are so amazed, they are so pleased, they are so happy, this is a unique opportunity in our lives.”
He added: “I’m sure when the Pope will give his blessing (in Phoenix Park on Sunday), we’re going to be amazed. It’ll be a new start, a new life after that.”
Mr Fronz set up the Catolicos em Dublin group in Dublin almost 10 years ago.
“Our first Mass, we had four people only,” he said.
“Now we have a big community and we have over 300 people at Sunday mass (each week).”
He is one of about 70 volunteers from the Brazilian community in Dublin who are assisting at a series of WMOF events at the RDS.
Mr Fronz said he will get to see Pope Francis up close on Saturday afternoon when the Holy Father visits the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People.
“I’m just shaking my legs (already),” he said.
“The pope is going to visit the homeless, and I’m going to have the opportunity to see him.
“I don’t know if we are going to shake hands or not but we’re going to have him in the same place as I am.
“I’m very happy and very honoured and delighted.”
Picture: Brazilian Richardo Fronz of the Catolicos em Dublin group, at the world meeting of families in Dublin, where hundreds of people from the Brazilian community in Ireland are preparing for a special Mass to celebrate the pope’s historic visit. (Niall Carson/PA).