Bronx girl with Down syndrome to meet with the pope

An 11-year-old Castle Hill girl who has Down syndrome will be among 100 children with disabilities meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at St. Joseph?s Seminary

THE BRONX - An 11-year-old Castle Hill girl who has Down syndrome will be among 100 children with disabilities meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at St. Joseph?s Seminary this weekend.

Lauren Kurtz, a student at the Westchester School for Special Children, is among the hand-selected celebrants for a small chapel service with the pope during his visit to New York. Linda Sgammato, director of religious education at the New York Archdiocese, selected the girl after being impressed at the way she presented Cardinal Edward Egan with flowers at her confirmation.

Kurtz's mother Beatrice, a teacher, will join her daughter at the ceremony.

"I'll probably break into tears because I'm just so happy right now," she says. "I'm so proud of her because a lot of things are difficult for her, and for her to be chosen is such an honor."

Click here for expanded coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit

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