Pope Francis will arrive in the nation’s capital from Cuba on Tuesday, September 22. The next morning he meets with President Obama in the White House, followed by a prayer service with the bishops. Later in the day he will canonize Father Junípero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
On Thursday morning, the pope will address a Joint Session of the Congress. The media is expected to focus on how Catholic lawmakers react to his remarks. In late morning, he will visit St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. He departs to JFK later in the day and will lead evening prayers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Friday morning marks the Holy Father’s U.N. address. Expectations will be high as he is likely to push for climate change reforms. Then he will attend an ecumenical service at the World Trade Center. Later in the day, he will visit a church in East Harlem, followed by Mass at Madison Square Garden.
The pope’s last stop is Philadelphia on Saturday where he will preside over the World Meeting of Families. He will say Mass, visit Independence Mall, and attend the Festival of Families event. His last day, Sunday, allows him to meet with bishops, visit a prison, offer a concluding Mass, and thank the event’s organizers.
Protesters, of course, will be there at every stop, but are likely to draw more yawns than applause.