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News August 31, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions for the 2015 Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to the United States of America

Find the answers to questions such as: How can you get tickets? Where can you watch videos online? What is the schedule of the Pope while he is in the US?



How can I get tickets to see Pope Francis at his events?

Washington, D.C.

Archdiocese of Washington Website (

Due to the small venue and required security at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the grounds of The Catholic University of America, seating and standing room at the Mass is very limited. You will need to have a ticket to attend the Mass. A number of tickets, free of charge, will be allocated to each parish in the Archdiocese of Washington. Each pastor determines the method of ticket distribution at his parish. The Mass will be broadcast live online at

Text PopeinDC to 84576 to receive text alerts or email updates.

New York, NY

Archdiocese of New York website (

Pope Francis only will be in the Archdiocese of New York for about a day, and tickets to all the events will be distributed to Catholic parishes and organizations throughout the archdiocese.  There will be no tickets available through any other means.

Philadelphia, PA

World Meeting of Families website (

The closing events of the Eighth World Meeting of Families take place on Saturday, September 26 – Sunday, September 27 when Pope Francis visits Philadelphia.  These events include the Festival of Families, an intercultural, multi-faith celebration of family life around the world, which will be held on the evening of Saturday, September 26, and a Papal Mass to be held during the afternoon of Sunday, September 27.

Receive all the latest releases and information about the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015 by signing up here: World Meeting of Families Papal Visit Playbook


Where can I watch videos and live streaming of the Papal events online?

During the historic visit of Pope Francis to the United States, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will live-stream over six days of free online video coverage of papal events.

Special guests will be providing commentary and explanations of several events as they happen in Washington, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Some events include: the canonization Mass of Blessed Junípero Serra, the Holy Father's visit to Catholic Charities in Washington, Vespers at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Mass at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, blessing and remarks on Independence Mall, the Festival of Families, the Holy Father's visit to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, as well as the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. 

All events will be live streamed in English with audio commentary from the USCCB website here: 

All events will also be available for video on demand here (events will be available shortly after their conclusion):

Mobile (smartphone or tablet):
You can watch all live-streaming and video on demand as well as up to the minute news and photos from the USA Catholic Church app available for iOS and Android. You can download the app for free by visiting www.USACatholic.Church on your smartphone or tablet.

How can I follow the Papal Visit events on social media?

During Pope Francis' apostolic journey to the United States, the USCCB and host Archdiocese's social media channels will take you inside the visit with exclusive content, videos, news, images and more.


Facebook  Twitter  Instagram
Catholic News Service @CatholicNewsSvc  
Archdiocese of Washington @WashArchdiocese WashArchdiocese
Archdiocese of New York @NY_Arch  
WorldMeeting2015 @WMF2015 WMF2015
#Walk with Francis


What is the schedule of Pope Francis while he is in the US?

Here is the schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015.  All times listed are Central Daylight Time.


Tuesday, September 22 (Washington, DC)

  • 5:00 p.m.    Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews


Wednesday, September 23 (Washington, DC)

  • 8:15  a.m.  Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House
  • 10:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's Cathedral
  • 3:15  p.m.  Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception


Thursday, September 24 (Washington, DC; New York, NY)

  • 8:20  a.m.  Address to Joint Meeting of the United States Congress
  • 10:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
  • 3:00 p.m.   Depart from Joint Base Andrews
  • 4:00 p.m.   Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 5:45 p.m.   Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral


Friday, September 25 (New York, NY)

  • 7:30  a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
  • 10:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
  • 3:00  p.m.  Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
  • 5:00  p.m.  Mass at Madison Square Garden


Saturday, September 26 (New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA)

  • 7:40  a.m.  Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • 8:30  a.m.  Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia
  • 9:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
  • 3:45  p.m.  Visit to Independence Mall
  • 6:30  p.m.  Visit to the Festival of Families Benjamin Franklin Parkway


Sunday, September 27 (Philadelphia, PA)

  • 8:15   a.m.  Meeting with bishops at St. Martin's Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
  • 10:00  a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
  • 3:00  p.m.   Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • 6:00   p.m.  Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation
  • 7:00   p.m.  Departure for Rome


Who is Blessed Junipero Serra and why is he being canonized in Washington, DC?

Born at Petra, Majorca, Spain, November 24, 1713, a son of farmers Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer, Junípero Serra was baptized on the day of his birth at St. Peter’s Church and was given the name Miguel José.

In Petra, Serra attended the primary school of the Franciscans. When he was 15 years old, he was taken by his parents to Palma to be placed in the charge of a cathedral canon, and he began to assist at classes in philosophy held in the Franciscan monastery of San Francisco.

Serra was admitted as a novice at the Convento de Jesús outside the walls of Palma on September 14, 1730, and made his profession on September 15, 1731. He chose the name Junípero in memory of the brother companion of St. Francis. He studied philosophy and theology at the Convento de San Francisco. The date of his ordination to the priesthood is not known, though it probably occurred during the Ember Days of December 1738. Serra obtained his doctorate in theology in 1742 from the Lullian University, Palma. He was called to the Scotistic chair of theology at the same university as primary professor in January 1749 to become an Indian missionary in America.

In character Serra was eager, optimistic, zealous, dynamic, even adamantine. Primarily a man of action, he preferred the active apostolate to the classroom or to writing. He remained a model religious despite his distractions and activity—a man of prayer and mortification. He had a consuming love for his American converts. He fought for the freedom of the church against royal infringement. Serra was considered by some too aggressive, zealous, and demanding. Though he defended the Indians, he had a paternalistic view and believed in and practiced corporal punishment.

The cause for Serra’s beatification began in the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno in 1934, and the diocesan process was finished in 1949. On September 25, 1988 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Pope Francis has announced that he will be canonized on September 23, 2015 during a Mass in Washington, DC.

Serra monuments and memorials dot his Camino Real from Majorca to California. He is the subject of several dozen biographies in various languages. His writings with translation have been published in four volumes by Rev. Antonine Tibesar, OFM. He is known as the Apostle of California. Serra International was established in his honor and his life and his mission system are studied in California schools.

Edited from the official biography at
More information available at: