The delegation of Hispanic Catholics who traveled to The Vatican to ask Pope Francis to help them put an end to deportations called their visit a success.

"We're very happy, we think we achieved our objective of issuing a call of hope to maintain the morale of almost 12 million undocumented people in our country," Rev. Marco A. Mercado told Efe upon his return from Rome.

The rector of the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines noted that President Barack Obama said the immigration issue was discussed during the U.S. leader's private audience with the pontiff last week.

During their visit to The Vatican a day before Obama's arrival, the 13 members of the Chicago Archdiocese committee delivered to the pope's secretary a petition asking Francis to discuss deportations with the president.

"The prayers and blessings of the pope come to all the families who are living in anguish and who are suffering the ravages of deportations," Mercado said.

One of the delegation members was Jersey Vargas, a 10-year-old girl, who asked the pope to intercede with Obama on behalf of her father, who was on the verge of being deported after being arrested for driving without a license, and the pontiff promised to speak with the president about the matter.

A few hours later, Jersey was informed that her father had been released after her family posted a $5,000 bond, and upon her return to Los Angeles, the little girl had an emotional reunion with her dad.

"As a priest, I feel very happy to see how our universal shepherd walks along with his people, especially with the most needy. We're very confident that President Obama heard the voice of the pope and will put a stop to the deportations," Mercado said.

Another member of the delegation was Mexican film star Salomon Carmona, who, upon his return to Chicago, told Efe that the mission the members of the group had set for themselves had been completed. EFE