Washington, D.C. (KROC-AM News) - Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede was among the thousands of people on the South Lawn of the White House this morning for the official welcoming of Pope Francis to the U.S.

Brede was invited to the historic event last week and traveled to Washington D.C. on Tuesday to take part in the festivities. Amid ultra-tight security, the mayor arrived at the White House hours before the Pope briefly addressed the invitation-only crowd.

Brede earlier described his attendance as a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” while admitting he was puzzled by the invitation.