This weekend, two women from Upstate New York will be canonized. And while there are fewer priests and smaller congregations, the work of these women and the honor they will be given shines a positive light on the Catholic Church this weekend. YNN's Bill Carey is in Rome and caught up with a group from Upstate New York, seeking to share their experience when they return home, in an effort to keep the faith of those around them alive.
VATICAN CITY -- It is a busy week for pilgrims, coming to Rome to honor new saints. They have been spending time reconnecting with the very center of their Church: the Vatican.
“The Church has been alive and well here for 2,000 years. Suffered terrible persecutions, but produced not only martyrs but some missionaries. It's the church of the catacombs and cathedrals,” said Bishop Robert Cunningham, Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese.
For those who have come before, and those making their first visit, it is a pilgrimage that has a deep impact.
“Coming here and seeing what the background was of the Church....it's good for people. They understand things better,” said Tina Dyer, from Fulton.
“This place is absolutely unbelievable. The Vatican and what it has to offer is something, it leaves you just speechless when you go in there,” said Joseph Slavik, of Syracuse.
There is a hope among Church leaders that events like this weekend's canonizations will help create new enthusiasm among the faithful, and that they will take that enthusiasm back home.
“I started thinking of some people who lost the faith or aren't as strong as they used to be and I might do a little work when I get home,” said Dyer.
The Church, seen by some to be struggling to remain relevant in the 21st century, sees hope in weeks like this -- hope for a new relevance in the future.