The Pope’s Visit – Itinerary

The Holy Father is coming to America – tomorrow! He will be in Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. I am sure there will be coverage on all the major networks, but EWTN will have the most comprehensive, and continual, coverage, along with interesting tidbits of past papal visits.

Pope Francis Visit to U.S.

In case you are interested, here is the outline of the major events, courtesy of my parish’s pastor, who posted it in this week’s bulletin:

Tuesday, September 22

  • 4:00 – Arrives in Washington, DC

Wednesday, September 23

  • 9:15am – Welcome Ceremony at the White House
  • 11:00am – Papal parade along the National Mall
  • 11:30am – Midday Prayer with the Bishops of the United States at St. Matthew’s Cathedral
  • 4:15pm – Mass of the Canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra at Catholic University

Thursday, September 24

  • 9:20am – Address to Joint Meeting of the US Congress
  • 11:15am – Visit to St. Patrick’s Parish and Catholic Charities
  • 4:00pm – Departs Andrews Air Force Base
  • 5:00pm – Arrival at JFK Airport, New York
  • 6:45pm – Evening Prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Friday, September 25, 2015

  • 8:30am – Visit to the United Nations and address to General Assembly
  • 11:30am – Prayer Service at the 9/11 Memoria and Museum
  • 4:00pm – Visit to Our lady Queen of Angels  Catholic School, Harlem
  • 5:00 – Procession through Central Park
  • 6:00 – Mass at Madison Square Garden

Saturday, September 26, 2015

  • 8:40am – Departure ceremony, JFK Airport
  • 9:30am – Arrival in Philadelphia
  • 10:30am – Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul
  • 4:45pm – Visit to Independence Hall
  • 7:30pm – Visit to the Festival of Families

Sunday, September 27, 2015

  • 9:15am – Meeting with US Bishops at St. Charles Seminary
  • 11:30am – Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
  • 4:00pm – Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • 8:00pm – Departure for Rome

I hope this outline will help you find time to watch at least some of the festivities. It is sure to be a time of great grace and blessing for our country. If you are one of the lucky ones who will be present live for any (and all) events, I hope you have a blessed experience and be safe.


Tweetable: Pope Francis’ U.S. Itinerary

Dedication of Saint Mary Major

August 5th is the day set aside for the optional memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. There are four major churches, or basilicas that we honor but I never understood why. I am guessing you don’t know why either, so I decided to do a little research.


It turns out that there is a lot of information about this gorgeous Basilica. It is one of the oldest and largest churches, and was built at the request of Pope Liberius. It has been restored many times over the years while maintaining the integrity of its original structure.

The Vatican website describes the church:

The Patriarchal Basilica of St. Mary Major reigns as an authentic jewel in the crown of Roman churches. Its beautiful treasures are of inestimable value, and represent the Church’s role as the cradle of Christian artistic civilization in Rome. For nearly sixteen centuries, St. Mary Major has held its position as a Marian shrine par excellence and has been a magnet for pilgrims from all over the world who have come to the Eternal City to experience the beauty, grandeur and holiness of the basilica.

But why is it signficant?

It is significant because it is one of the four great churches in Rome, which is the center of Christianity. As such, it contains the papal throne and altar; however, no clergymen are allowed to celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist there without the Pope’s express permission.

The Basilica also has a miracle attributed to the place. Apparently, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a man named Giovanni, telling him that she wished that a church be built in her honor. Around the same time, she appeared to Pope Liberius with the same request, telling him that she will send down snow in the place where the church was to be built. Lo and behold, snow started to fall the next day, August 5th on the hill in Rome where the church as to be raised.  This is where Our Lady gets her title, “Our Lady of Snows.”

The history and the miraculous story is very interesting and I encourage you to check out the links below for further details behind this gorgeous basilica.

Vatican Website

New Advent

The Catholic Travel Guide

American Catholic



Picture is in public domain

Pope Francis’ First Encyclical Letter – Lumen Fidei

Light of faith


Have you heard? Pope Francis recently released his first encyclical which is called “Lumen Fidei” or “Light of Faith.” I can’t wait to read it!

If you are interested in reading the encyclical (and I encourage you to do so!) you can download it free here or here from the Vatican website. If you prefer, you can download it on Amazon for only .99 cents (affiliate link).

Stop Your Whining!


The more I get to know Pope Francis the more I love him! He is a man who is not afraid to pull some punches. 🙂 On a forum I belong to I came across an article from the Catholic News Agency where the Holy Father  takes us to task for whining. In the article he says,

“A Christian ‘who constantly complains, fails to be a good Christian: they become Mr. or Mrs. Whiner, no? Because they always complain about everything, right?’ the Pope remarked in his May 7 homily at St. Martha’s residence.”

Wow, talk about a prick of conscience! I hate to admit that it is so easy for me to fall into complaining and yet what do I really have to complain about? I am blessed in many ways and although I have problems and struggles I have people who love and support me. I am confident in my faith and know that no matter what happens God will see me through. So, it’s time for me to stop complaining!

What about you? Go read the complete article and let me know what you think!

Now, on top of this, this week our Holy Father compared sad Christian faces to pickled peppers! He said,

“Sometimes these melancholic Christians’ faces have more in common with pickled peppers than the joy of having a beautiful life,’ Pope Francis said May 10.

‘If we keep this joy to ourselves it will make us sick in the end, our hearts will grow old and wrinkled and our faces will no longer transmit that great joy, only nostalgia and melancholy which is not healthy,’ he added.”

I had to laugh when I read this. I don’t know about you, but I’ve come across some miserable Christians who wouldn’t know what I smile was if it smacked him or her in the mouth! Not that I should talk, of course. Our Holy Father’s words are a strong admonition for me, too!

Here’s the link for the whole article, again from Catholic News Agency.


photo credit: sandburchick via photopin cc

Have You Adopted a Cardinal Yet?

If not, it’s not too late. 🙂

What is adopt a Cardinal? It is an online initiative to for pray for the Cardinals who are gathering together to elect the new pope. Here is what their website says:

Are you infinitely thankful to God for having given us such a wonderful, wise and benevolent pope in Benedict XVI.?

Do you sincerely hope that the Church will be granted a worthy successor: a rock of faith, a leader open to the Holy Spirit, a pope prayerful and holy?

Do you as an important part of the Body of Christ wish to contribute through the power of your prayers so that the Holy Spirit may guide, protect and enlighten our Cardinals when they determine the next successor of St. Peter?

You now have the opportunity to actively be part of this providential endeavour by having a Cardinal assigned to you, who you will support through your prayer and intercession during the coming weeks before and during the conclave and for three days following the election.

Once you click the “Adopt a Cardinal” button you will be taken to a screen to put in your name and email address, then you will get the name of the Cardinal for whom you are praying, his picture and a bio snippet (such as his DOB, the diocese he is Cardinal of, etc.) The information is also emailed to you.

This is a wonderful opportunity for us faithful to pray for all those who are responsible for electing our new pope. May the Holy Spirit guide them! Go here to adopt your “own Cardinal” to pray for.