By KERRY MINOR
AURIESVILLE - The Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs is inviting the pope to visit the shrine next year.
Joey Caruso, who is organizing the shrine's ongoing fund drive, said within the next week to 10 days, the shrine will send a letter to Rome asking the pope to visit the shrine during his planned 2015 visit to Philadelphia and New York.
The visit would be Pope Francis' first visit to the United States.
Caruso said an attorney will draft the request, which will be sent to the Vatican for consideration.
Hollywood also may be taking an interest in the shrine and St. Kateri.
Caruso said the shrine has had about a dozen meetings with a Hollywood movie producer and director about making a film at the shrine.
The movie would be about the life of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who was born in Auriesville and was named a saint in 2012.
Caruso said he couldn't name the director at this time, but said the person is a big-name director who made a religious film in the past. Caruso said props for the movie likely would become permanent fixtures at the shrine.
He said such a production could have a positive effect on the local economy.
"It promises to be very exciting times," Caruso said.