In a statement from the Vatican earlier today, Pope Francis confirmed that he will visit Washington D.C. and New York City during his upcoming tour of the United States, the Pope had previously announced that he would visit Philadelphia in the same trip.
The Vatican stopped short of supplying all of the exact details of the Pontiff’s schedule, but did confirm the three cities outlined above. Among the top-places expected to be on the Pope’s tour are the White House, the United Nations in NYC as well as Ground Zero. There is some early rumors that a Mass could be held at Madison Square Garden but more details on that will be announced after it is confirmed.
One Mass that is scheduled is Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a popular destination for Catholics. Philadelphia will have the Pope visit a local children’s hospital or perhaps a juvenile prison, maybe both, depending on the Pontiff’s growing schedule.
As with many Catholics across the world, Catholics here in America have shown unwavering support of the new Pope. In a statement to the press a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York stated, “You can’t go to anything connected to the Archdiocese without people asking if Pope Francis is coming.” Pope Francis of course isn’t the first Pope to visit NYC in our lifetime, Pope Benedict XVI visited NYC back in 2008 where he visited the yet-to-be-finished 9/11 memorial and museum, and his Holiness Pope John Paul II made an extremely welcomed visit back in 1995.
This comes just days after Pope Francis visited the Philippines, with a record number of people crowding to see the Pope, with a crowd estimated to be close to six-million. The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in September is for the World Meeting of Families. The visit comes at a great time to address the United Nations, the General Assembly will be in session for the week the Pope plans to visit.