Thousands celebrate Mass with pope at MSG

An estimated 18,000 people were in attendance at Madison Square Garden Friday evening as Pope Francis celebrated Mass on his last night in New York

An estimated 18,000 people were at Madison Square Garden to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis on Friday, Sept. 25.

An estimated 18,000 people were at Madison Square Garden to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis on Friday, Sept. 25. (9/25/15)

NEW YORK - An estimated 18,000 people were in attendance at Madison Square Garden Friday evening as Pope Francis celebrated Mass on his last night in New York City.

Lines stretched down Seventh Avenue for hours ahead of the celebration.

Among the thousands of people in the crowds were many Long Islanders who said they were elated to be there for the special Mass.

"It's thrilling, just the idea of all of us together, all of us in that room," said Eileen Tucci, of Wantagh. She won a ticket through a lottery at St. James Church in Seaford, and she described it as "better than winning the real lottery."

Pope Francis' Mass wrapped up a busy day for him that included an address to the U.N. General Assembly, a visit to the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, an interfaith spiritual service at the museum, then a visit to a Harlem school and a ride through Central Park.

Pope Francis will head to Philadelphia this weekend before returning to Rome Sunday night.

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