GREEN BAY – A member of the group encouraging Pope Francis to visit Green Bay remains optimistic a visit will happen next year. The pontiff confirmed Monday he will visit Philadelphia next September.
He’ll attend the World Meeting of Families, a conference held every three years in a different city. It will be the first time a pope has visited the United States in more than seven years.
The pope is also expected to visit New York City and Washington, but those plans haven’t been confirmed by Vatican officials.
Earlier this year, an effort was launched to bring the pope to Titletown. An online petition has received more than 4,000 signatures in the past nine months.
A member of the ad hoc committee behind the effort believes it could happen.
"Even though he confirmed Philadelphia, he didn’t confirm other things, so we’re very hopeful still," said Christina Pallini, a spokesperson for the ‘Pope to Green Bay’ group. "This is the only Marian-approved apparition site in the United States."