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Six Days with Francis

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With nearly 8,000 journalists credentialed to follow Pope Francis during his six-day, three-city whirlwind East Coast tour, expect wall-to-wall coverage of every single aspect of the Holy Father’s visit.

Also, expect to hear a lot of Spanish. Pope Francis will deliver most addresses in Spanish, including his address to the United Nations and his homily at the canonization Mass of Franciscan friar Junípero Serra.

The cornerstone of the early fall visit is the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, but the Pontiff will deliver some 18 major addresses and homilies, and preside at numerous other smaller gatherings.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provided this detailed schedule below (all times are local, with Mountain Time in parentheses).

All information was accurate at the time of publication. For up-to-date information, please visit uspapalvisit.org.

Stream the events live here: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/francis/papal-visit-2015/papal-visit-2015-live-stream.cfm

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Click here for an interactive map of the pope’s visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/francis/papal-visit-2015/papal-visit-2015-cns-interactive-map.cfm


4 p.m. (2 p.m. MT)-Arrival from Cuba
Joint Base Andrews

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò boards the plane to greet Pope Francis, and they descend from the plane accompanied by the papal entourage.

The Holy Father is welcomed by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Other government officials expected are Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, and Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.

Also welcoming the pope are Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of the Washington Archdiocese; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, vice president of the USCCB; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of the Washington Archdiocese; Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Archdiocese; and others. No formal remarks are scheduled.

The papal entourage travels to the Nunciature, or residence of the papal nuncio, where the pope rests for the evening.

No public events are scheduled until the following morning.


9:15 a.m. (7:15 a.m. MT)-Official State Welcome
White House

Pope Francis arrives at the South Portico of the White House and is greeted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. On the lawn, approximately 20,000 people are in attendance. The president delivers remarks and introduces the pope. Pope Francis delivers remarks in English.

Church dignitaries present at the ceremony include Cardinal William Levada, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Cardinal Adam Maida, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

Pope Francis and President Obama meet privately in the Oval Office after the ceremony. Their talks are followed by an exchange of gifts, the presentation of family members, and official photos.

Pope Francis departs the White House in the popemobile and takes a parade route between the Ellipse and a portion of the National Mall.

11:30 a.m. (9:30 a.m. MT)-Midday Prayer
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

Pope Francis arrives at the cathedral, where he is met by Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson, the rector of St. Matthew’s, and where approximately 300 U.S. bishops have assembled inside, including Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver. The pope walks down the center aisle to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for a brief prayer before being seated in front of the altar for Midday Prayer of the Divine Office. Readings and prayers are offered in Latin.

Note: There will be a moment of silence after each reading.

During the prayer, the pope addresses the bishops in Spanish. Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz, archbishop of Louisville and USCCB president, provide remarks.

Following the prayer, the pope meets the officers and members of the USCCB’s Administrative Committee. Before departing the cathedral, the pope blesses several commemorative plaques. He departs through the cathedral’s rectory doors.

4:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. MT)-Mass of Canonization of Blessed Junípero Serra
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
The Catholic University of America

The Holy Father arrives at the headquarters of the USCCB, where he will transfer into the popemobile to move among the faithful gathered on the grounds of The Catholic University of America.

The pope enters the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where approximately 3,600 U.S. seminarians and men and women novices seated in the upper church greet him.

Cardinal Wuerl and Msgr. Walter R. Rossi, rector of the Basilica, accompany the pope to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel for private prayer. The pope then walks across the sanctuary to the vesting area before stepping onto the east portico for Mass.

The pope celebrates Mass on the east side steps of the Basilica, with approximately 25,000 faithful. The Mass is celebrated in Spanish, and the homily is given in Spanish.

During the Mass, he canonizes Junípero Serra, 1713-1784, a Franciscan who founded nine missions in present-day California. The cause for Serra’s canonization began in the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno in 1934. On September 25, 1988, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Serra International, founded to foster and affirm vocations to the priesthood and vowed religious life, was established in his honor. He is known as the “Apostle of California”; his life and his mission system are studied in California schools.


9:20 a.m. (7:20 a.m. MT)-Address to Joint Meeting of Congress
U.S. Capitol

Pope Francis is the first pope to address a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress. He enters the U.S. Capitol on the East Front. After a private meeting with the Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner, he enters the House chamber. Remarks are in English.

After he finishes the address, the pope walks through Statuary Hall, pausing in front of a statue of Junípero Serra and observing a gift of the St. John’s Bible, a handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by St. John’s Abbey and the University of Collegeville, MN.

From the balcony on the West Front of the Capitol, he greets 50,000 guests.

11:15 a.m. (9:15 a.m. MT)-Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities

Pope Francis addresses a group of 200 Catholic Charities clients in Spanish, many of whom are low-income, have received clinical, mental health, and medical care, and/or are immigrants. They represent more than 120,000 men, women, and children served by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington each year.

The pope walks down the center of the aisle with Cardinal Wuerl and Msgr. Salvatore Criscuolo, pastor of St. Patrick’s. He exits through a side door to go into the main headquarters of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. The pope blesses their chapel before exiting through the main doors of Catholic Charities on to G Street, NW. Outside on G Street, many of the homeless clients of Catholic Charities are receiving a meal from the St. Maria’s Meals Program.

4 p.m. (2 p.m. MT)-Pope Francis departs for New York City

Plane departs Joint Base Andrews to New York. At approximately 5 p.m. (3 p.m. MT), the papal plane arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport, located in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Greeting him at his arrival is Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn and Archbishop Bernadito Cleopas Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. Pope Francis is immediately transported via helicopter to the Wall Street Heliport, then via motorcade to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

At a point between the Wall Street Heliport and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he moves into the popemobile for the final segment, arriving at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the open vehicle.

7 p.m. (5 p.m. MT)-Vespers
Cathedral of St. Patrick

Pope Francis is welcomed to the cathedral by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, and Msgr. Robert Ritchie, rector of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Others present include Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The pope prays Vespers, or evening prayer, with the bishops, priests, deacons, and lay faithful who represent the Catholic Church in New York. Cardinal Dolan delivers words of gratitude as part of the concluding rites. The pope blesses a commemorative plaque before the final blessing and dismissal.


8:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. MT)-United Nations

The fourth pope to address the United Nations (UN), Pope Francis comes to the UN as it marks its 70th anniversary and at a time when member states will take major decisions about sustainable development, climate change, and the future peace and well-being of humankind. The pope’s address is in Spanish. During the visit, the pope will also have bilateral meetings with the secretary-general and the president of the general assembly and will participate in a town hall gathering with United Nations staff.

11:30 a.m. (9:30 a.m. MT)-Multi-Religious Service
Ground Zero Memorial

On leaving the motorcade, Pope Francis walks to the south Reflection Pool, situated where the towers of the World Trade Center stood. He pauses at the pool before one of the bronze panels that contain the names of the nearly 3,000 children, women, and men killed during the attacks of 1993 and 2001. He briefly greets members of the 9/11 community and is escorted into the Museum to Foundation Hall, where an audience of
700 representatives of religious communities greets him.

Members of the religious communities offer meditations on peace, first in the sacred tongue and then in English. An exchange of peace is offered. The pope is escorted to an exhibit of steel formed in a cross and a Bible found at the site after 9/11.

4 p.m. (2 p.m. MT)-Our Lady Queen of Angels School, Harlem

Our Lady Queen of Angels School has served the East Harlem community for more than 120 years. Pope Francis will visit a classroom to meet with third- and fourth-grade students from the four Catholic schools in Harlem, and then visit the gym to meet with immigrants who have been assisted by the services of Catholic Charities of the archdiocese.

Departing from the school, Pope Francis uses the popemobile to move through Central Park on his way to Mass at Madison Square Garden.

6 p.m. (4 p.m. MT)-Mass
Madison Square Garden

Upon entering the building, Pope Francis moves among the congregants in the popemobile. He disembarks and is led to the papal sacristy, where he prepares for the celebration of Mass with more than 20,000 inside the arena. The Mass is celebrated in Latin, Spanish, and English. Prayers of the Faithful are offered in several languages, including Polish, German, and Italian.


8:40 a.m. (6:40 a.m. MT)-Pope Francis departs for Philadelphia

Pope Francis departs from JFK airport and arrives at the Philadelphia International Airport, Atlantic Aviation, at approximately 9:30 a.m. He is met by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Others present include Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf; Mrs. Frances Wolf; Mayor of Philadelphia Michael A. Nutter and Mrs. Lisa Wolf; Mr. Robert J. Ciaruffoli, president of the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia 2015; and Mrs. Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia 2015.

A family from the archdiocese presents the pope with the Pennsylvania state flower, the mountain laurel. The Bishop Shanahan Catholic High School band provides music for the event. The pope is joined in the entourage by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and Archbishop Chaput.

10:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. MT)-Mass
Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia

Pope Francis is welcomed by a children’s choir and is informally greeted by Pennsylvania Governor Emeritus Tom Corbett and Mrs. Susan Corbett. Welcoming him to the cathedral is the rector, Fr. G. Dennis Gill. Lay representatives from the 219 parishes of the archdioceses, representatives of the religious women’s and men’s communities that serve in the archdiocese, and the bishops of the Province of Pennsylvania are present for the Mass.

The Mass is celebrated in Latin, Spanish, and English. The pope will deliver his homily in Spanish.

12:50 p.m. (10:50 a.m. MT)-Arrival at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

The rector of the seminary, Bishop Timothy Senior, with a choir of 150 seminarians, meets the Holy Father outside at the main entrance. Upon entering the main building, the pope is met by a group of nine persons with cognitive challenges and/or disabilities and their caregivers from St. Edmonds Home for Children, Divine Providence Village, and Don Guanella School at Don Guanella Village.

4:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. MT)-Independence Mall

Independence Hall is a symbolic place in the history of the city and the country. It is the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted. Pope Francis speaks from a simple lectern, which was used by President Abraham Lincoln when he delivered the Gettysburg Address.

The pope arrives at Independence Mall and moves among the crowd in the popemobile. Before entering Independence Hall he is presented a five-foot “cruz de los encuentros.” The cross is a symbol of the past, present, and future of the Hispanic community, and it will travel throughout the country in preparation of the “V Encuentro—Pueblo Hispano/Latino, Discipulos en Misión” scheduled for January 2017.

Presenting the cross on behalf of the Hispanic community are Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, CA; Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, TX; Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, CA; and a family of seven who have immigrated to the United States from Mexico. The pope addresses the crowd in Spanish.

6:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. MT)-Festival of Families
Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Colombian pop star Juanes, along with The Philadelphia Orchestra, headline the Saturday Festival of Families, one of the concluding events of the World Meeting of Families. Co-sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families is a triennial global event that seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society.

Being held in the United States for the first time ever, the official theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

Before bidding Pope Francis farewell, Archbishop Chaput asks the Holy Father to put the final brush stroke on the mural for the World Meeting of Families’ The Sacred Now: Faith and Family in the 21st Century, created by artist Cesar Viveros and painted by members of the community at paint days throughout the summer and by attendees of the World Meeting of Families Congress.


9:15 a.m. (7:15 a.m. MT)-Meeting with Bishops
St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

Pope Francis meets with bishops from throughout the world who have been attending the World Meeting of Families during the week, along with bishops from the United States. Established in 1832, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary provides priestly formation for men preparing to minister in Philadelphia and other dioceses throughout the United States. St. John Paul II also visited the seminary in 1979.

11 a.m. (9 a.m. MT)-Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility

Opening in 1995, Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF) is the largest Philadelphia Prison System facility.

The prison was named in honor of Warden Patrick Curran and Deputy Warden Robert Fromhold, who were killed at Philadelphia’s Holmesburg prison in the line of duty in 1973. Commissioner of the City Prisons, Louis Giorla, opens the program and introduces Archbishop Chaput. The inmates and staff of CFCF have created and built the chair being used by Pope Francis for the visit. Pope Francis speaks in Spanish and greets some of the inmates, family members, and staff of the facility.

4 p.m. (2 p.m. MT)-Mass Conclusion of World Meeting of Families
Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Pope Francis departs from St. Charles Borremeo Seminary and transfers into the popemobile at Logan Circle. He moves among those gathered for the concluding Mass of the Apostolic Journey and the World Meeting of Families. The Mass is celebrated in Latin, English, and Spanish; the pope delivers his homily in Spanish.

7 p.m. (5 p.m. MT)-Gesture of Gratitude
Atlantic Aviation

In private, the pope greets Vice President Joseph Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and members of their family. He then enters Hangar One, where there are 500 members of the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia 2015, leadership, sponsors, partners, and volunteers who have been viewing the Mass from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on large screens. The pope greets the audience in English and offers his blessing.

The Pope departs for Rome.


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