New York City prepares for Pope Francis' visit
Pope's first stop will be newly renovated St. Patrick's Cathedral
NEW YORK – The anticipation is palpable. All across New York City, finishing touches are being made for the pope's arrival Thursday afternoon.
His first stop will be at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
The church spent $177 million to renovate it. Just about every single piece of concrete on the exterior was replaced.
By the time the pope celebrates evening prayer there, he'll be able to hear the place in all its glory. Nearly all 9,000 pipes, which make up the great organ, were also replaced.
The faithful got an early look at the place during an evening Mass early Wednesday night.
"The place is very beautiful inside. There's a Mass going on and it was very solemn," Clarence Bennett said.
"Yesterday I was in Washington and I saw the preparations for the visit, and now I'm looking forward to this visit," Paulo Chinney said.
On the lighter side of things, the pope's visit has given rise to just about about everything you can think of, including papal-themed drinks and cookies.
A bakery in the Bronx used icing to create a treat, fresh out of the oven, bearing his likeness. It was an update on Pope Benedict XVI cookie when he visited New York City in 2008.
The renovations uncovered a surprise high atop St. Patrick's. Local 10 News was told a bottle of champagne was found tucked away in a box in the ceiling. A note was found with workers names on it from the 1970s. It was replaced with a bottled of brandy, which the monsignor said won't go bad.
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