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Notre Dame students Skype with Superintendent from Vatican pilgrimage

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Around 200 people from the Syracuse Diocese made the pilgrimage to Rome, Italy this week in order to be there for the long-awaited canonization of Mother Marianne Cope.

Born Barbara Koob in West Germany, Cope moved with her family to the U.S. in 1839, just a year after her birth, settling in Utica. She would go on to help establish St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica.

Utica catholic school students have been learning about Mother Marianne for several weeks leading up to her canonization. They're not limited to relying on textbooks; on Thursday, they got to talk to the Superintendent of the Diocese as he stood, live, right in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

Christopher Mominy skyped with Notre Dame students in real time-8:30a.m. Utica time, 2:30p.m. Rome time. The students could see the pope's residence behind Mominy on one side; St. Peter's Basicila on the other side.

School officials say the fact that Cope grew up in Utica helps students identify with her, seeing her as more than just a distant, sanitized figure.

"The only thing that separates them actually is the chronology of a generation. Many were amazed to find out the actual site where she grew up is still there and actually some of her accomplishments. It kind of adds a little bit of color to the black and white reading they've been doing over the years," says Notre Dame Vice Principal Roy Kain.

Cope will be canonized on Sunday.

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