Pope to meet with homeless, prisoners and immigrants during US visit

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis will meet with homeless people, immigrants and prisoners during his upcoming trip to Cuba and the United States. He’ll also preside over a meeting about religious liberty – a major topic for the U.S. Catholic Church in the wake of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision.

The Vatican published the itinerary Tuesday for the eagerly awaited Sept. 19-28 visit.

Francis added the Cuba leg onto the U.S. trip at the last minute after helping contribute to the historic thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations.

In the U.S., he will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House and become the first pope to address Congress. He will host an interfaith gathering at Ground Zero in New York and deliver a speech on sustainable development at the United Nations.

Schedule of Pope Francis’ trip to the U.S. and Cuba, as announced by Vatican officials and U.S. bishops:

Sunday, Sept. 20
– Celebrates Mass in Revolution Square in Havana.
– Visits with state leaders, religious men and women, youth.

Monday, Sept. 21
– Celebrates Mass in Holguin.

Tuesday, Sept. 22
– Celebrates Mass in the minor Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, Santiago.
– Meets families in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Asuncion, Santiago.


Wednesday, Sept. 23
– Visits White House.
– Prays with U.S. bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral.
– Celebrates Mass for canonization of Father Junipero Serra at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Thursday, Sept. 24
– Addresses Congress.
– Meets with homeless at St. Patrick’s parish and Catholic Charities.


Thursday, Sept. 24
– Celebrates evening prayers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Friday, Sept. 25
– Speaks on environmental sustainability at the United Nations.
– Joins interfaith service at ground zero memorial site.
– Visits Our Lady, Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, meets with immigrant families.
– Celebrates Mass in Madison Square Garden.


Saturday, Sept. 26
– Celebrates Mass with religious community at Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
– Visits Independence Mall, discusses religious freedom with Hispanics and other immigrants.
– Visits Festival of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Sunday, Sept. 27
– Meets with bishops at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in suburban Philadelphia.
– Visits inmates at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.
– Celebrates Mass on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
– Greets World Meeting of Families organizers, volunteers and benefactors at airport before departing for Rome.

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