United States Papal Visit


Written by Hailey Dunster, The Woodgrove Outlander

Arriving at 4:00 p.m. at Joint Base Andrews, the Pope began his journey along the East Coast in Washington. He met with President Obama and became the first Pope to ever address a joint meeting of Congress. Along with many other firsts, he also became the first pope to perform a canonization in the US. He led many masses in locations such as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington D.C), Cathedral of St. Patrick (New York), Madison Square Garden (New York), Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul (Philadelphia), and at Benjamin Franklin Parkway (Philadelphia).

Pope Francis primarily addressed poverty, immigration, and climate change. He traveled to St. Patrick’s Church and Catholic Charities in Washington D.C to address issues like these. In New York, he expanded his audience to the United Nations, as two other popes have done before, and focused on the issues of poverty and climate change.  He traveled to Lady Queens of Angels School and met with the students, especially refugees and immigrants. In Philadelphia, he continued his visits by stopping at a correctional facility. The Pontiffs last venue was at Atlantic Aviation where he saw World Meeting of Families volunteers.

Washington, New York, and Philadelphia faced major difficulties trying to handle the large masses of people that would be entering the cities to see the Pope. In D.C alone, seventy intersections were shut down and had to be controlled by police officers and other traffic controllers. There was an expected hour and 45 minute delay for most commuters. The alternative, train service, was also going to be crowded and the Metro service worked to adjust for the event.