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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Current Catholic Events: Pope Francis Visits Philadelphia

(The following information is taken from
On Saturday, September 26th, 2015 at 10:30 a.m, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. The event is not open to the public and will be held exclusively for local religious and those with personal invitations. 

On Saturday, September 26th at 4:45 p.m, Pope Francis will visit Independence Mall in Philadelphia. There, the pontiff will talk about immigration and religious freedom to an estimated crowd of 50,000, including mainly the local Hispanic community and immigrants.  Bishop John McIntyre told that he expects the pontiff will arrive for the event via the Popemobile. During this time, he said, Francis will likely do a loop around Independence Mall, greeting the crowds, allowing people to get near him while possibly making stops to bless infants and others.  The Independence Mall visit will include ticketed and non-ticketed areas. 

On September 26th, 2015 at 7:30 p.m, Pope Francis will attend the Festival of Families in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, a major event that is part of the World Meeting of Families gathering. During this event, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Columbian rock musician Juanes will perform for the pontiff. It is expected that Francis will address the crowds.  The Festival of Families is an intercultural celebration of family life around the world that has taken place in different countries over the years. For 2015, it will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event is expected to draw large numbers due to the pontiff’s attendance and event being open to the public.  The Philadelphia Art Museum and Franklin Institute are planning family-themed exhibits and extending their hours for the week. There is also a family 5K run planned, as well as bus tours of the national Catholic Shrines in the area. In addition, there will be musical and dance acts, and other family entertainment. The goal of the whole week is to build up family life.
On Sunday, September 27th at 9:30 a.m, Pope Francis will meet with bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. The meeting will be exclusively held with bishops attending the World Meeting of Families only.  This event is closed from public access.

On Sunday, September 27th at 11 a.m, Pope Francis will visit the Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility in Philadelphia. Over a couple hours, according to, the pontiff will meet with connect with select inmates and their families as well as prison staff. According to Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla,  the inmates who get to personally meet Francis will be considered with history of good behavior in mind.

On Sunday, September 27th at 4 p.m, Pope Francis will celebrate the closing mass for the World Meeting of Families 2015. The Mass will be held outside the Philadelphia Art Museum and is open to the public.  The location has proved suitable in the past, with Pope Saint John Paul II celebrating Mass (with an estimated 400,000 attendees) on Logan Circle outside the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in 1979.  There, the liturgy was imbued with the angelic sounds of the The Archdiocesan Choir, the Boy Choir, the Seminary Choir and the cathedral’s Collegiate Choir. Pope Saint John Paul distributed Communion to 150 specially selected members of the Archdiocese while roughly 3,000 priests moved into the large crowds and distributed the Eucharist to whomever they could reach.  This time around attendance may in the thousands if not millions for the Papal Mass with Pope Francis as the main celebrant.

On Sunday, September 27th at 7 p.m, Pope Francis will formally meet with organizers, volunteers and benefactors involved with the World Meeting of Families at the Atlantic Aviation hangar in the Philadelphia International Airport.  This event will closed off from the public and will be authorized access only.

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