Schedule for pope’s visit to D.C. released

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis will visit sites ranging from the White House to to homeless shelters during his visit to D.C. in September.

At a news conference announcing the schedule for the pope’s visit, Cardinal Donald Wuerl added that the pope will be using the Popemobile to help get around the city, yet be visible to the public.

Pope Francis will arrive at Joint Base Andrews at 4 p.m. Sept. 22. He’ll meet President Barack Obama at 9 a.m. Sept. 23, followed by a midday prayer with the bishops to the United States at St. Matthew’s, then celebrate a Canonization Mass for Junipero Serra at 4:15 p.m. that day the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, on Michigan Avenue in Northeast.

That Mass is the only chance for the public to see Pope Francis in D.C. The number of tickets available has yet to be determined and will depend on security concerns, but will number in the thousands. Video screens will also be set up on the campus of Catholic University, Wuerl says.

The pope will address a joint meeting of Congress (the first time a pope has done so) at 9:20 a.m. on Sept. 24; visit St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington at 11:15 a.m., and head to New York that afternoon.

Wuerl added that Francis will celebrate Masses in Spanish while he’s here, and that despite the currency of his recent encyclical he is coming to D.C. as a pastor, not a politician. Wuerl also said that he hoped Francis’ visit to the capital would inspire people to help those in need.

You can find the full schedule here.

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