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Pope Francis made his intention to travel to the United States for the 2015 World Meeting of Families public on November 17, 2014, in an address to the Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman at the Vatican.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed the news.
“The presence of Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in our country will be a joyful moment for millions of Catholics and people of good will. Our great hope has been that the Holy Father would visit us next year to inspire our families in their mission of love. It is a blessing to hear the pope himself announce the much anticipated news,” said Archbishop Kurtz.
The schedule for the pope's visit to the three US cities is here.
POOLESVILLE, Md. (CNS) -- They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but at the St. Joseph Carpentry Shop along a country road in Poolesville, Deacon Dave Cahoon is having his second "once-in-a-lifetime" experience in the past seven years.
In 2008, Deacon Cahoon built the altar Pope Benedict XVI used for his papal Mass at Nationals Park in Washington, and this summer, the carpenter is building an altar Pope Francis will use at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during his visit to the nation's capital.
On Sept. 23, on the east steps of the national shrine overlooking The Catholic University of America campus, the pope will celebrate the canonization Mass for Blessed Junipero Serra, the 18th-century Spanish Franciscan missionary to California.
It's just by the grace of God," said Deacon Cahoon, describing the honor and the blessing of building two papal altars.- MORE -
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People make special preparations for welcoming a special guest, and watching what worked and did not work in Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay may help people preparing for Pope Francis' visit to the United States in September.
Some of the plans, however, will require common-sense adjustments, especially because the U.S. Secret Service is likely to frown on certain behavior, like tossing things to the pope -- a phenomenon that occurs much more often with Pope Francis than with any previous pope. At the Vatican, the items tend to be soccer jerseys and scarves; in Ecuador, it was flower petals -- lots of them.
Watching the pope July 5-12 in South America it is clear:
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will welcome Pope Francis to the White House Sept. 23.
"During the visit, the president and the pope will continue the dialogue, which they began during the president's visit to the Vatican in March 2014, on their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues," said a statement released March 26 by the Office of the Press Secretary at the White House.
Those issues, it said, include "caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities."
The statement added, "The president looks forward to continuing this conversation with the Holy Father during his first visit to the United States as pope."
Last year, in their first encounter, Pope Francis received the president at the Vatican for a discussion that touched on several areas of tension between the Catholic Church and the White House, including religious freedom and medical ethics.
During an unusually long 50-minute meeting, the two leaders discussed "questions of particular relevance for the church in (the U.S.), such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection as well as the issue of immigration reform," the Vatican said in statement afterward.
While in Washington, Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24, making him the first pope to do so.
The Archdiocese of Washington said it would host the pope for his visit, but did not announce dates. On his flight from the Philippines to Rome in January, Pope Francis said he would canonize Blessed Junipero Serra at Washington's Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
On March 18, the United Nations announced Pope Francis will visit there the morning of Sept. 25 to address the U.N. General Assembly. The pope also will meet separately with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and with the president of the General Assembly. The pontiff also is scheduled to a town hall gathering with U.N. staff.
In a statement, Ban noted that the pope's visit came during the United Nations' 70th anniversary, in which its members would make decisions about sustainable development, climate change and peace. He said he was confident the pope's visit would inspire the international community to redouble its efforts for social justice, tolerance and understanding.
The United Nations did not release the detailed itinerary for the meetings, part of a larger papal visit to Washington, New York and Philadelphia. The Vatican is expected to release the official itinerary about two months in advance of the trip, unless local officials release it earlier.
Pope Francis already had announced his participation Sept. 26 and 27 for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
During his pontificate, St. John Paul II visited the United States seven times -- two of which were fuel stopovers -- making the country his most frequent foreign destination after his native Poland. He addressed the U.N. General Assembly in 1979 and 1995; Blessed Paul VI did so in 1965 and Pope Benedict XVI addressed the assembly in 2008, during his one U.S. visit as pope.
UNITED NATIONS (CNS) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement that Pope Francis would visit the United Nations the morning of Sept. 25 to address the U.N. General Assembly.
In a statement March 18, the United Nations also said the pope would meet separately with the secretary-general and with the president of the General Assembly and would participate in a town hall gathering with U.N. staff.
Ban noted that the pope's visit came during the United Nations' 70th anniversary, in which its members would make decisions about sustainable development, climate change and peace. He said he was confident the pope's visit would inspire the international community to redouble its efforts for social justice, tolerance and understanding.
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Feb. 5 that Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24.
The pontiff's "historic visit" would make him the "first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress," Boehner said in a statement, adding that he was "truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation."
Boehner noted that "in a time of global upheaval, the Holy Father's message of compassion and human dignity has moved people of all faiths and backgrounds. His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.""We look forward to warmly welcoming Pope Francis to our Capitol and hearing his address on behalf of the American people," he added
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