Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pope Francis: confirms U.S. trip details: New York, D.C., Philadelphia

From on board the papal plane from Manila, Philippines, to the Vatican, Catholic News Service reporter Francis X. Rocca says that Pope Francis has confirmed he will visit New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia in September.

The pope said he will canonize Bl. Junipero Serra in Washington. In New York, the pope will visit the United Nations. The Vatican had previously confirmed his trip to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.

In an exclusive story by Alan Holdren and Elise Harris of CNA/EWTN News, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, one of the organizers of the papal trip, earlier revealed several other possible details about Pope Francis trip:

“He would arrive on the 22nd and he would leave the evening of the 27th. It’s really a full six days, plus the travel, so it’s really one week,” Archbishop Auza told CNA/EWTN News in Manila on Jan. 18.

After a projected arrival to Washington, D.C. on the evening of Sept. 22, they’re proposing that Pope Francis visit the White House the following morning, where the official welcoming ceremony would take place.

Following his stop at the White House, the pontiff would go on to celebrate Mass at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Mass, the archbishop observed, would be primarily for bishops, consecrated and religious men and women, seminarians and representatives from humanitarian and Catholic charitable organizations.

“And we might say really the highlight of the Washington visit might be his speech to the joint-meeting of Congress, so the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Archbishop Auza said. According to the proposal, Pope Francis would leave for New York City on the afternoon of the 24th.

The U.N. general-assembly would be his destination on the morning of the 25th, which is also the opening of the 3-day Post-2015 Sustainable Development Summit.

Archbishop Auza also says that Pope Francis may visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, although not for Mass; and the new memorial at the World Trade Center.

The main focus of the trip is the pope's attendance at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia on Sept. 26-27.

Pope Francis made the surprise announcement during his trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines that he would canonize Bl. Junipero Serra during his U.S. trip. Pope Francis, speaking with media on his return trip from the Philippines, said the ceremony would be be held in Washington, D.C., rather than California, where Bl. Junipero founded the first missions.

For complete details of the interview, read the story here. Read the story from Catholic News Service here. And keep up with World Meeting of Family news here.

Cathy Dee


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