July 18 - Catholic faithful in one of Rio de Janeiro's notorious slums prepare to welcome Pope Francis during his upcoming trip to Brazil. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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Hopes ride high in a Brazilain favela as it prepares to receive the first Pope from the Americas.
Pope Francis will visit this neighborhood as part of his trip to Brazil next week.
A local priest says they are ready.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) FATHER MARCIO QUEIROZ OF CHAPEL OF ST. JEROME EMILIANI, SAYING:
"The people are a very simple people, and I always say that we were chosen, not because we are the best or because we are not. We were chosen because we are the underprivileged, and the poorest, but also we are faithful. We are Catholics and we persevere in any moment and in all moments as hard as it is and has been for the community."
The new pope, chosen in March, has outlined a drive to put the poor at the heart of his papacy.
Some residents in this town of about 35,000 people have been waiting all their lives for such a visit.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) LOCAL RESIDENT, DONA AMARA MARINHO OLIVEIRA, SAYING:
¨I deserve the Pope's visit here. I deserve it. I know that God will present me with this happy moment because I had so few happy moments in my life. I hope to have this before departing for eternity. ¨
Francis is the first non-European pope in 1,300 years.
The trip is expected to be the only one abroad for the pope this year.
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