Pope’s Philadelphia Schedule Unveiled
Catholic officials over the weekend released details of Pope Francis’ September trip to the United States — the centerpiece of which will be his multi-day visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.
Catholic News Agency reports the details were revealed by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, a member of the organizing meeting for the trip.
From New York the Roman Pontiff would head to Philadelphia in the early morning of the 26th as his last stop, where he is set to participate in the World Meeting of Families from Sept. 26-27.
“Philadelphia is confirmed. That’s for sure,” the archbishop observed, explaining that the two big events set to take place with the Pope are a prayer vigil on the 26th and Mass Sunday, the 27th.
There is also an encounter planned with grandparents and children, however the archbishop said he does not know whether or not the Pope will participate.
Besides the encounter with families, Archbishop Auza said that the Philadelphia visit will likely include “a visit either to a children’s hospital or a juvenile prison.”
Pope Francis will also visit New York and Washington D.C. during his weeklong trip to the United States. He’ll address Congress and the U.N. General Assembly, and he’ll celebrate Mass in New York — possibly at Madison Square Garden — but Auza said: “Our plan is not to have a huge Mass outside of Philadelphia, because the focus will really be Philadelphia, because the Pope is going to the United States for the World Meeting of Families.”
Update: A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia cautions: “While we are excited that Pope Francis will be with us in September – and planning for his visit is intensely underway – no final decisions regarding the Papal itinerary for Philadelphia have yet been made,” he said. “Final confirmation of the Holy Father’s schedule in Philadelphia can come only after consultation with the Papal household.”