Exceedingly monumental, Pope Francis’ upcoming papal visit, to include his stop in Philadelphia, will attract crowds of faithful Catholics as well as those who wish to be a part of the historic event. The World Meeting of Families, which meets once every three years, will be hosted in Philadelphia beginning on September 26, 2015. Every moment of the pope’s five day tour is meticulously planned, allowing for visitors and residents to prepare accordingly for the festivities.
Pope Francis’ Philadelphia Itinerary
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
- Morning Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
- At 4:45PM, Pope Francis will speak at Independence Mall.
- At 7:30PM, the pope will visit Festival of Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
- Early morning meeting with bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel.
- Following the meeting,a visit is scheduled at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, where Pope Francis will speak with a small group of inmates.
- At 4:00PM, the pope will lead a Mass which will conclude the World Meeting of Families
Ways to Prepare for the Visit
During the September 26 visit to Independence Mall, the pontiff will address a crowd of approximately 50,000 people. The pope is expected to arrive in the Popemobile and will make a loop around the Mall, greeting the crowds and blessing infants. It is important to understand the following:
- Independence Mall will have designated “ticketed” and “non-ticketed” areas.
- The Secret Service has released official pedestrian routes to and around all event sites.
- Security perimeters are also being established, which will impede the flow of vehicle and foot traffic.
- A list of prohibited items has been published and will be strictly enforced.
The World Meeting of Families has decided that the Festival of Families will have both ticketed and non-ticketed areas. The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Colombian pop star Juanes will all entertain at the festival and 1.5 million people are expected to attend. According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, eighty-five percent of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be open to the public without tickets. Here is what you should know about this event:
- Access to event site on Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be from 20th Street to City Hall and beyond.
- Festival security checkpoints will be located at multiple points.
- The Francis Festival Grounds will be located in the Center City area and are promising 40 Jumbotrons from which the festivities may be viewed.
- Festival grounds will have food and beverage vendors.
- SEPTA and PATCO will deliver riders directly into the Francis Festival grounds.
Residents Of Philadelphia- Plan Accordingly
Above all else, residents and visitors to Philadelphia can expect to experience prolonged traffic congestion and massive crowds flocking in and out of the city. Be sure to have a plan and accommodations scheduled soon, so that the experience is an enjoyable one.