“I believe in God – not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.” Pope Francis
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY –– The fight against evil must start from our thoughts. Action second.
If we have a dirty thinking, everything else becomes dirty–including our way of life.
In fact, cleansing of the soul must commence even without any papal visit.
As members of the Christian community in this part of the globe, we believe that we are duty-bound to observe the fundamental Christian precepts in our thoughts, in words and in deeds.
This has become our personal mantra as we join fellow Christian faithful here in the United States in preparing for the visit of Pope Francis on September 22-27.
While applying for media accreditation for the event, the United States Conference of Bishops (a counterpart of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines) exhorted us to also observe the 10 ways to participate in the Papal Visit.
That we must take part in a “Virtual Pilgrimage” with these prayers as the Holy Father makes his way to more than a dozen different locations in Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.
We must learn more about the places Pope Francis will visit by following his journey on this interactive map;
To become “Pope Francis literate” by reading his two encyclical letters: Lumen Fidei and Laudato Si;
To stay up-to-date and read insightful commentary by connecting with the only news source founded and supported by the US Bishops, Catholic News Service;
To have a Papal Visit Watch Party! All events will be live streamed in English with audio commentary. We shall select events that will also be available for video on demand here;
To take our faith and the latest papal visit news with us on the go by downloading the Catholic Church app for IOS at the iTunes store or for Android devices on Google Play.
To respond to Pope Francis’s call to encounter by reaching out to those in need, supporting parish or community charitable efforts, acting to promote life, human dignity, families and religious freedom, and by caring for creation;
To invite a non-Catholic or non-practicing Catholic friend to Mass next weekend so they can experience the joy of the Gospel;
To engage in social media: use our hash tags #PopeinUS and #PapaEnUSA. We must not forget to use some Pope emojis;
To support the many people working to make Pope Francis’ historic US visit a success by praying for them to the Blessed Virgin under her title Mary, Undoer of Knots (a favorite of Pope Francis); and
To include in your intentions: Vatican staff, The US Secret Service, the US Bishops, their staff and volunteers, the World Meeting of Families committee and volunteers, and the three host archdioceses and host cities.
OFFICIAL SECHEDULE for Pope Francis’ Visit to U.S.: Washington D.C., Tuesday, September 22, 2015
4pm: Pope Francis arrives in D.C. at Joint Base Andrews at 4 p.m.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
9:15 a.m: White House Welcoming Ceremony and personal meeting with President Barack Obama
11:00 a.m. Papal Parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall
11:30 a.m: Midday Prayer with U.S. bishops at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in D.C.
4:15 p.m: Junipero Serra Canonization Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, September 24, 2015
9:20 a.m: Arrival at Capitol
10 a.m. Speech to the Senate and House of Representatives (Joint Session of Congress)
11 a.m. Brief appearance on West Front of Capitol
11:15 a.m: Visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in D.C. and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
4 p.m: Departure for New York from Joint Base Andrews (D.C.)
5 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York)
6:45 p.m. Evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York)
Pope Francis Visits New York, Friday, September 25, 2015
8:30 a.m United Nations General-Assembly
11:30 a.m Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
4 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem
5 p.m. Papal motorcade through Central Park
6 p.m. Madison Square Garden Mass
Pope Francis Visits Philadelphia, Saturday, September 26, 2015
8:40 a.m Departure for Philadelphia from John F. Kennedy International Airport
9:30 a.m Arrival in Atlantic Aviation hangar at Philadelphia International Airport Philadelphia
10:30 a.m Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul
4:45 p.m Visit to Independence Mall
7:30 p.m Visit to Festival of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Prayer Vigil with World Meeting of Families
Sunday, September 27, 2015
9:15 a.m Papal meeting with Bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
11 a.m Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
4 p.m Papal Mass for World Meeting of Families
7 p.m. Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families at Atlantic Aviation
8 p.m Departure for return to Rome