Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More Preliminary Details of Pope's September U.S. Visit Emerge

Preliminary details of Pope Francis' itinerary during his September visit to the United States are becoming known.  From a report by CBS/AP on the Pope's news conference yesterday and a report by the Washington Times on details disclosed by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Pontiff's likely schedule so far looks like this:

Washington D.C. Sept. 22-24:
  • Arrival- evening of  Sept. 22
  • Welcoming ceremony at White House- morning of Sept. 23
  • Mass at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (for bishops, consecrated and religious men and women, seminarians and representatives from humanitarian and Catholic charitable organizations).  At the Mass, the Pope will canonize 17th-century founder of the first Missions in California, Junipero Serra- later on Sept. 23
  • Address to Joint Session of Congress- Sept. 23 or 24
  • Leave for New York-afternoon of Sept. 24

New York- Sept. 24-26
  • Address to United Nations General Assembly (including opening of Post-2015 Sustainable Development Summit, with many heads of state attending)- morning of Sept. 25
  • Mass in Madison Square Garden
  • Visit to Ground Zero Memorial
  • Visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral
  • Inter-ethnic meeting
  • Leave for Philadelphia- early morning of Sept. 26

Philadelphia (World Meeting of Families)- Sept. 26-27
  • Prayer Vigil- Sept. 26
  • Visit to a children's hospital or juvenile prison
  • Mass- Sept. 27
  • Depart for Rome- evening of Sept. 27
Even with this ambitious schedule, there were things that had to be omitted.  The Pope said he would have liked to enter the U.S. through the Mexican border "as a sign of brotehrhood and help to the immigrants." But, he joked: ..."going to Mexico without going to visit the Madonna (of Guadalupe) would be a drama. A war could break out!"