Pope Francis is visiting the United States. It is his first visit to the USA – ever.
The first leg of his trip will be in Washington, D.C.
FYI – did you know that 1/4 of the people in America are Catholic? I didn’t.
Wednesday, Sept. 23
9:15 a.m. Welcome ceremony on the White House South Lawn and meeting with President Obama.
About 11 a.m. Popemobile parade around the Ellipse and a portion of the National Mall. Tickets are not required, but spectators will need to pass through security gates, which will open at 4 a.m. and close at 10 a.m.
11:30 a.m. Prayer with United States bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the mother church for the Archdiocese of Washington.
4:15 p.m. Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to canonize Rev. Junípero Serra as a saint. Pope Francis will arrive in a popemobile and will greet seminarians and novices entering religious orders. About 30,000 people will attend the Mass.
Thursday, Sept. 24
10 a.m. — The Senate and House welcome the pope in a joint session. He will make the first-ever address to Congress, which will broadcast live on the Capitol’s West Front. This speech will be one of four he will hold in English. The remaining 14 speeches on his U.S. trip will be in his native Spanish.
11 a.m. — He makes a stop on the Capitol’s West Front, which overlooks the National Mall.
11:15 a.m. — St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese host Pope Francis. Only 60 parishioners culled from a lottery of church volunteers and about 250 clients and volunteers from Catholic Charities will be allowed in during the visit. Catholic Charities St. Maria’s Meals, which offers three weekly food programs in the Washington area, plans to have 55 tables set up for the poor and homeless to be served lunch as the pope blesses the food and walks through.
4 p.m. — The pope departs from Washington via Joint Base Andrews for New York.