DALLAS The choir from Bishop Lynch High School went to Rome to sing in that city's great cathedrals. Their journey ended on an unexpectedly high note.
On Monday, the Dallas students were back home after witnessing history the election of a new pope.
"It was such an amazing feeling to know we were there during such a historic moment," said Lexi Fifeld.
The teens had been invited back in 2008 to sing at the recent Vatican ceremony marking the 500th anniversary of the new St. Peter's Basilica; that was honor enough.
"We just prayed there, and sang together, and it was so emotional... very touching," said Anne George. "We were all connected."
But it got better. After they raised their voices in faith, fate would have it that they would also be at the center of it all, as they witnessed the election of Pope Francis.
"Everyone was happy and ecstatic and jumping up and down," Alex Santos recalled.
"We felt very connected to this pope," Lexi said. "He'll always have a special place in our hearts because he was elected while we were there."
"It was just an emotional roller coaster," said Christian Hernandez, because it happened during the choir's final evening in the Eternal City. They all agree it's something they'll remember forever.
"It's a lifetime experience, and I will probably never get to experience it again," said Catie Nolan.