Former Police Officer and family will Greet Pope Francis on his arrival in Philadelphia

An extraordinary honor for a local family whose faith has been tested and held strong.

In a special surprise announcement at Saint Christopher’s Parish in Somerton, Bernadette Bowes and her family of five were chosen to represent all families of the Archdiocese, and greet Pope Francis when he lands in Philadelphia.

“I couldn’t think of a better family to represent the Archdiocese and to represent the people of the area,” said Father Joseph Garvin. “They’re just wonderful people.”

Father Garvin says the Bowes have faced hardship with love and empathy for others.

Richard Bowes is a former Philadelphia Police Officer, shot and wounded in the line of duty 7 years ago. His partner, Officer Patrick McDonald, was killed.

The Bowes just endured another loss this last week, when Bernadette’s mother passed away suddenly.

“I just would have loved to have been able to tell my mom and dad,” said Bowes. “She would have been gleaming.”

The Bowes say all they’ll ask for when they meet Pope Francis is a blessing.