Vatican Releases Official Schedule for Cuba/US Papal Visit

Mass at Revolution Square, Addresses to US Congress and United Nations Among Major Events

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The Holy See Press Office today published the official schedule of Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba and the United States.

The Pope’s first apostolic visit to both countries will take place from September 19-27.

The day after his arrival to Jose Marti International Airport, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass at Revolution Square in Havana, followed by a meeting with President Raul Castro and an address to government authorities. He will then celebrate Vespers with priests, religious men & women, along with seminarians at Havana’s Cathedral and conclude with a youth meeting at the Padre Felix Varela Cultural Center.

The following day, he will fly to the city of Holguín, where he will also celebrate Mass and bless the city. In the afternoon, the Pope will depart for Santiago where he will be meeting with the Bishops of the country and conclude with a prayer at the Shrine of Our Lady of El Cobre, patroness of Cuba.

On September 22nd, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass and meet with families before departing for Washington, D.C., where he will be welcomed in the afternoon at Andrews Air Force Base.

The following day, a welcoming ceremony will take place on the South Lawn of the White House, where he will meet with President Barack Obama. He will then meet with Bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral. The day will culminate in the afternoon where he will preside at the Canonization Mass of Blessed Junipero Serra at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

On the morning of September 24th, the Holy Father will make history as the first Pontiff to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. He will then meet with the homeless at St. Patrick’s Church before departing for New York City.

After his arrival at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Pope will celebrate Vespers with clergy and religious men & women at the famed Cathedral of St. Patrick.

On September 25th, the Pope will address the General Assembly of the United Nations. From there, he will attend an interreligious meeting at Ground Zero, site of the deadly terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. He will then visit Our Lady, Queen of Angels School in Harlem for a meeting with immigrant parents and their children. Finally, he will conclude the day with a Mass at Madison Square Garden.

On September 26th, Pope Francis will depart for Philadelphia where he will celebrate Mass with Bishops, Clergy and Religious men and women of the state at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul.

In the afternoon, he will attend a Meeting for Religious Freedom with the Hispanic community at Independence Mall. In the evening, he will arrive at the site of the World Meeting of Families and participate at a prayer vigil.

On the final day of his visit, Pope Francis will meet in the morning with the visiting  Bishops attending the World Meeting. He will then meet with prisoners at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility before celebrating the Closing Mass of the VIII World Meeting of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

Finally, Pope Francis will meet with organizers, volunteers and benefactors before departing for Rome on the evening of September 27th.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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