Sep 26, 2015 3:25 PM by News Staff
LOWER MERION, Pa. (AP) - Latest developments in Pope Francis' visit to the United States. All times local:
Pope Francis is resting up at the suburban seminary where he is staying before restarting a packed itinerary on his first day in Philadelphia.
Francis is scheduled to return to the cathedral where he celebrated Mass Saturday morning and transfer to the popemobile for a mile-and-a-half journey through downtown.
He will give a late-afternoon speech focusing on religious freedom and immigration at Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed.
A festive night follows, with a concert featuring Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, the Philadelphia Orchestra and others. The event hosted by Mark Wahlberg caps the World Meeting of Families, which drew Francis to the United States for the first time.
On Sunday, an estimated 1 million people are expected to attend a public Mass that Francis will celebrate.
Pope Francis has been serenaded by a group of about 150 seminarians after arriving at the suburban seminary where he will stay while visiting Philadelphia.
The seminarians also sang "Happy Birthday" to Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who turned 71 Saturday.
Francis will spend some time resting at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Lower Merion before giving a speech on religious freedom and immigration in front of Independence Hall.
He will then be part of a parade along the parkway where a festival will be held for the final night of the World Meeting of Families.
The final event will be hosted by actor Mark Wahlberg and include performances from Andrea Bocelli, Aretha Franklin, the Philadelphia Orchestra and others.
On Sunday, Francis will celebrate Mass for what organizers estimate will be more than 1 million people.
Fifty members of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas were on hand to hear Pope Francis call for the church to value the contribution of women.
The nuns received tickets to Saturday's Mass at the main cathedral in downtown Philadelphia.
He celebrated Mass in front of about 1,600 people.
Francis settled a controversy in April over a three-year Vatican investigation into the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which the sisters are part of.
The umbrella group for women's religious orders had been accused of straying from church teaching.
Francis' progressive agenda parallels their views on helping the poor and immigrants, preserving life and ending the death penalty.
Sister Catherine Darcy, of Merion, Pennsylvania, says this is a special moment for the Catholic church and that they have felt strong support from Francis.
Pope Francis has finished celebrating a Mass, stopping to bless children in wheelchairs before leaving the cathedral in downtown Philadelphia.
Francis walked through a chapel adjacent to the main room in the cathedral on Saturday to greet ill and disabled parishioners, along with other visitors. He blessed the children and gave them a kiss on the head.
Francis delivered a homily in Spanish in front of about 1,600 people. He says the future of the church depends on an increased role for the laity and valuing the "immense contribution" of women.
He will spend a few hours at a seminary just outside of the city before giving a speech Saturday afternoon on religious freedom and immigration.
The former Archbishop of Philadelphia who retired in 2011 amid a scandal over clergy sex abuse is celebrating Mass with Pope Francis.
Cardinal Justin Rigali joined Francis and other bishops at the Mass Saturday on the pope's first stop in Philadelphia.
Rigali's successor, Archbishop Charles Chaput, also was on the altar in front of about 1,600 people at the main cathedral in downtown Philadelphia.
Rigali retired to the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, months after a grand jury accused the Philadelphia archdiocese of sheltering more than three dozen credibly accused priests and lying about it to victims and others.
Later Saturday, Francis will give a speech on religious freedom and immigration and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families.
Pope Francis says the future of the church depends on an increased role for the laity and on valuing the "immense contribution" of women.
Francis delivered a homily in Spanish Saturday while celebrating Mass in front of about 1,600 people at the main cathedral in downtown Philadelphia.
Francis has repeatedly said women should have a greater role in church leadership, although he has rejected the idea of ordaining women.
By touching on the issue, Francis seemed intent on healing one of the major rifts in American Catholicism that has alienated many from the church.
Later Saturday, he will give a speech on religious freedom and immigration and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families.
On Sunday, he will celebrate Mass for what organizers estimate will be more than 1 million people.
Pope Francis is celebrating Mass in front of 1,600 people at Philadelphia's main Catholic cathedral.
Francis walked down the aisle of the church holding a large staff with a crucifix on top while a choir sang.
Francis arrived at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul Saturday morning in his black Fiat after landing in Philadelphia from New York.
Pope John Paul II spoke at the cathedral in 1979, the only other papal visit to Philadelphia.
Later Saturday, he will give a speech at Independence Hall and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families. On Sunday, he will celebrate Mass for an estimated 1 million people.
Pope Francis is set to celebrate Mass in front of 1,600 people at Philadelphia's main Catholic cathedral.
Francis pulled up in front of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul Saturday morning in his black Fiat after landing in Philadelphia from New York.
He was greeted at the steps by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and his wife. Corbett originally invited Francis to Philadelphia.
Before going inside, Francis twice turned around to wave to the hundreds of cheering people standing outside of the cathedral.
Pope John Paul II spoke at the cathedral in 1979, the only other papal visit to Philadelphia.
Later on Saturday, Francis will give a speech on religious freedom and immigration and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families.
Pope Francis has left Philadelphia's airport and is headed to its main Catholic cathedral to celebrate Mass for about 1,600 people.
Among those greeting Francis Saturday was a former Philadelphia police officer wounded in the line of duty seven years ago and his family. Richard Bowes' daughters presented flowers to Francis and he hugged the two girls and Bowes' son.
Francis also got out of his black Fiat to bless a 10-year-old boy in a wheelchair on the tarmac, kissing him on the forehead.
A local Catholic high school band played, including the theme song from the Philadelphia-set movie "Rocky."
Later on Saturday, he will give a speech at Independence Hall and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families. On Sunday, he will celebrate Mass for hundreds of thousands.
Pope Francis has arrived in Philadelphia to begin a visit that will include celebrating Mass for what organizers estimate will be more than 1 million people.
His chartered American Airlines plane touched down Saturday morning after Francis spent four days in New York City and Washington.
He is being greeted by a Catholic high school band and local dignitaries.
Francis is headed first for the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, where he will celebrate Mass for about 1,200 people. He will later give a speech on religious freedom and immigration in front of Independence Hall and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families.
He will also visit a prison while in Philadelphia, before celebrating a Sunday Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Pope Francis has left New York City for Philadelphia, the last stop in his three-city visit to the United States.
Before taking off, the pope greeted nuns at Kennedy Airport. With the wind whipping, he took a small stumble as he ascended the stairs to a waiting jet. He waved to the crowd as the airplane taxied.
In Philadelphia, his itinerary includes Masses, prayer vigils and a visit to a prison. On Sunday, he'll celebrate the closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people.
In New York City, Francis spoke at the United Nations and celebrated Mass at Madison Square Garden.
His first stop was Washington, where he was met by President Barack Obama and spoke to Congress. He heads back to Rome on Sunday night.
Pope Francis has begun his trip to Philadelphia, the last stop on his U.S. trip.
The pope left Manhattan on Saturday morning for Kennedy Airport in a helicopter. He will fly to Philadelphia after a brief farewell from worshippers waiting to see him off.
Groups of Roman Catholic parishioners prayed together as they waited at JFK.
"Our Father..." was heard above the rumble of the American Airlines jet engines warming up for the flight to Philadelphia.
In keeping with Francis' efforts to bring religions closer, New Yorkers who came to say farewell to Francis included a Sikh in a white turban as well as representatives of other faiths.
Two Marine helicopters have taken off from New York's Kennedy airport to pick up Pope Francis in Manhattan and take him to the airport.
Francis is scheduled to leave New York for Philadelphia on Saturday morning.
Roman Catholic worshippers and church officials have gathered for a brief farewell on the JFK airport tarmac.
They include seven cloistered nuns from the Precious Blood Seminary in Brooklyn. Four of them are originally from Francis' native Argentina.
Francis arrived in New York on Thursday evening from Washington, D.C. His crowded New York itinerary included a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, a visit to the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum and a Mass at Madison Square Garden.
It is the pope's first visit to the United States.
After speeches to Congress and the United Nations aimed at world leaders, Pope Francis will embark on the segment of his American journey expected to be the most centered on ordinary Catholics: a Vatican-organized rally for the family that will culminate in an outdoor Mass for a million people.
Francis heads to Philadelphia on Saturday.
He will speak at Independence Hall, where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
As he has done in New York and Washington, he will give his attention to both the elite and the disadvantaged, this time visiting inmates in Philadelphia's largest jail. On Saturday night, he will be serenaded by Aretha Franklin and others on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at a festival celebrating families. He will return there Sunday for the Mass, his last major event before leaving for Rome.
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