Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede says he is “puzzled and honored” by an invitation from the White House.

Brede says he has accepted an invite from the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to join President Obama in welcoming Pope Francis to the United States later this month. The mayor says he will be among those in attendance on the South Lawn of the White House the morning of September 23rd for the official welcoming ceremony, which he describes as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Pope is scheduled to arrive at Andrew’s Air Force Base on the afternoon of September 22nd and the White House event will be his first official appearance in the U.S.