Pope Francis Visits America

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Pope Francis Visits America

Erica VeRost, News writer

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Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States, from September 22-27, consisted of warm welcomes from

Americans as Pope Francis attended various events throughout Washington D.C., New York City, and

Philadelphia.

Pope Francis officially arrived in D.C. at 4pm on Tuesday, September 22. On September 23, he attended

the White House Welcoming Ceremony where he was personally greeted by President Barack Obama.

After leaving the White House, he participated in the Papal Parade. In the parade, Pope Francis traveled

along 15th Street, Constitution Avenue, and 17th Street NW in the “Pope-mobile”. Thousands of

Americans, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Pope, lined the streets as he travelled. On the same day in

Washington D.C., Pope Francis prayed the midday prayer from the Liturgy of Hours at the Cathedral of

St. Matthew the Apostle. With bishops from the U.S., Pope Francis delivered a homily to those present.

Following, Pope Francis celebrated Mass on the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate

Conception, as well as the University Mall at The Catholic University of America. During Mass, Pope

Francis canonized Junipero Serra, who was a Franciscan Friar that started nine Spanish missions in

California during the 1700s. On the morning of September 24th, Pope Francis addressed a joint session

of Congress at the Capitol. On the same day, Pope Francis visited Saint Patrick’s Church in Washington

D.C. Pope Francis also blessed and conversed with the clients and homeless that gathered. At 4 pm,

Pope Francis departed to New York City.

On September 24, Pope Francis arrived in New York City at 5 pm. Upon his arrival, Pope Francis

administered the Evening Prayer at a Vespers service held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The next day,

September 25, Pope Francis addressed the United Nations General Assembly. The assembly had been

celebrating its 70th anniversary, and the presence of Pope Francis made it a significant celebration as

the members must make decisions concerning climate change and sustainable development. Following,

Pope Francis prayed and delivered a speech at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Pope Francis then visited

Our Lady Queen of Angels School, an institution that has been providing education for over 120 years to

students of diverse backgrounds. While there, Pope Francis preached the importance of education,

friendships, and family. That evening, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Madison Square Garden. The

following morning, the Pope departed for Philadelphia.

On September 26, Pope Francis arrived in Philadelphia. First, he celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of

Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. Following Mass, the Pope arrived at the Independence Mall where he

delivered a speech to an estimated 50,000 people which consisted of mainly local hispanics and

immigrants. He discussed the importance of history, tradition, and religious freedom. Pope Francis also

attended the Festival of Families where he gave a speech concerning the significance and love of family,

and there many musicians performed for the pontiff. The following day, September 27, Pope Francis

visited the Curran- Fromhold Correctional Facility where he met inmates and their families. He delivered

a speech that explores the insightful theory of how all people take different paths, and how their time in

prison is meant to lead them to the right path. On the same day, Pope Francis administered the closing

Mass for the World Meeting of Families outside the Philadelphia Art Museum. In the evening, Pope

Francis formally met with all people involved with the World Meeting of Families at the Philadelphia

National Airport where he delivered a speech expressing his gratitude for his journey to America and for

having witnessed all of its blessings. Later that night, Pope Francis departed for Rome from Philadelphia.

On September 27 at 8 pm, Pope Francis’s voyage to the United States had concluded.

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