Today, Pope Francis, the “People’s Pope,” arrived in Washington, D.C., for his first ever U.S. visit. I think he is wonderful. I don’t care what faith he is; I adore that he is using his voice to make dramatic and important changes. As a newbie Catholic and liberal political enthusiast, I am particularly looking forward to his speech before Congress on Thursday.
He will address Congress in English, which is no small effort, since Spanish is his first language. Congress has been schooled on the proper papal etiquette. Three pre-determined Congress members on each row and on both sides are in place to prevent an untoward touch, which is verboten. Surely, that will contain the excited elected.
Pope Francis has been turning the religious world upside down with his logical stands on immigration, divorce, abortion, LGBT, and climate change. Security measures for his visit are unprecedented.
The Vatican has released the schedule for his September visit. He touches down at Joint Base Andrews September 22nd. From there he will go immediately to the Apostolic Nunciature Church. On Wednesday, he will be met by President and First Lady Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. Having these greeters is extremely unusual and indicative of how important this Pope’s visit is to the President.
The People’s Pope will be in D.C. through the 24th. After that, Pope Francis will be in New York City from the 24th through the 25th. Then, the Pope travels to Philadelphia from the 26th through the 27th.
The details of his visit, as released by The United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops, are as follows (all times are Eastern Daylight Time):
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
4:00 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
9:15 a.m. Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House
11:00 a.m. Papal Parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall (time approximate)
11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew’s Cathedral
4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
9:20 a.m. Address to Joint Meeting of the United States Congress
11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
4:00 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
New York City
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
5:00 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
4:00 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
5:00 p.m. Procession through Central Park (time approximate)
6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden
8:40 a.m. Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
9:30 a.m. Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia
10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
4:45 p.m. Visit to Independence Mall
7:30 p.m. Visit to the Festival of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
9:15 a.m. Meeting with bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
11:00 a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
4:00 p.m. Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
7:00 p.m. Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation
8:00 p.m. Departure for Rome
h/t The United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops and MSNBC News.