The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently published a detailed schedule of the Pope’s activities for his visit to Washington D.C., New York City, and the Philadelphia area this weekend.
The Pope touched down in the U.S. yesterday, so expect major traffic snarls and street shutdowns in the areas he is visiting until the weekend is over.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (WASHINGTON, DC)
- 4:00 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (WASHINGTON, DC)
- 9:15 a.m. Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House
- 11:00 a.m. Papal Parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall (time approximate)
- 11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew’s Cathedral
- 4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 (WASHINGTON, DC, NEW YORK CITY)
- 9:20 a.m. Address to Joint Meeting of the United States Congress
- 11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
- 4:00 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
- 5:00 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
- 6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (NEW YORK CITY)
- 8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
- 11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
- 4:00 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
- 5:00 p.m. Procession through Central Park (time approximate)
- 6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (NEW YORK CITY, PHILADELPHIA)
- 8:40 a.m. Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
- 9:30 a.m. Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia
- 10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
- 4:45 p.m. Visit to Independence Mall
- 7:30 p.m. Visit to the Festival of Families Benjamin Franklin Parkway
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (PHILADELPHIA)
- 9:15 a.m. Meeting with bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
- 11:00 a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
- 4:00 p.m. Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
- 7:00 p.m. Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation
- 8:00 p.m. Departure for Rome
September 22, 2015: Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia in late September is expected to be such a traffic nightmare that the Secret Service has called in the National Guard for support.
“You might want to treat the Pope’s visit like an approaching snowstorm,” said one Philidelphia city official of the impending transportation fiasco.
Pope’s Visit To Paralyze Traffic
Transportation officials expect 2 million people in 100,000 to 250,000 vehicles to travel through New Jersey en route to for the Pope’s appearances on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27.
To make matters worse, both the New York Giants and New York Jets will play home games that weekend. Officials are advising people within a 25-mile radius of Philadelphia to avoid any unnecessary driving, even going so far as advising area residents to stock up on food, medicine, and DVDs.
Major Roadways to Close
Many major roadways around Philadelphia will be closed over the weekend. The Benjamin Franklin Bridge connecting New York to Philadelphia will shut down for the weekend, possibly as early as 10 p.m. on Friday night and will not reopen until noon on Monday. Some parts of I-76 and I-676 will be closed along with part of Route 1. A three square mile around the center of Philadelphia will be completely closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles.
In addition to the National Guard, officials may call in the Delaware Guard if the traffic situation gets out of control. 1,000 State Troopers will be brought in to help control traffic.