Members of a Granbury church are out $70,000 and had to cancel their trip to the Vatican scheduled for later this month after their travel agent declared bankruptcy.
The group planned to see Pope John Paul II get canonized in late April, but their travel agent, Teresa Rosser, declared bankruptcy causing them to cancel their trip.
“It’s a huge disappointment,” said retired Granbury bookkeeper Jeanne Holderman.
Holderman and about 30 other members of St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Granbury booked the pilgrimage with a Cleburne travel agency, run by Rosser, called "Born to Fly and Entertain."
The company’s website advertises, “Travel the world. We will get you there.”
Rosser declared bankruptcy on Friday. She claimed to have just $5 cash to her name.
"I think she's in a very dark place in her life,” Holderman said. “I'm quite sorry for her because what she's done is a bad thing. She did a bad thing to a lot of good people — for money."
NBC 5 attempted to contact Rosser, but she could not be reached for comment.
The address of her travel agency was to her town house.
"She feels badly about it," her attorney, Mike Rogers of Cleburne, said. "She had no evil intent … She's not a bad person. She didn't set out to steal anyone's money."
Rogers declined to state where the money went, but added that despite the bankruptcy, Rosser is still trying to repay the victims.
Holderman said she's out $3,300.
"And she took everyone else's money, and that would include our priest,” Holderman said.
But more importantly, she said she'll miss being there to witness church history.
Holderman met Pope John Paul II during a trip to Rome in 1996.
"That's not going to happen again in my lifetime,” Holderman said.
Cleburne police are conducting a criminal investigation. No charges have been filed.
"I suspect we'll never see the money again and we have to get over the disappointment,” Holderman said.