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As the week unfolds, Catholic Online will bring our readers and viewers along on the journey as our Nation welcomes the successor of St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI and his message of hope.

From the moment Shepherd One lands to the closing moments of this historic apostolic visit, Catholic Online will bring our readers and viewers news, views, testimonies and stories of the Holy Father's visit to the United States of America.

From the moment Shepherd One lands to the closing moments of this historic apostolic visit, Catholic Online will bring our readers and viewers news, views, testimonies and stories of the Holy Father's visit to the United States of America.

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WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) – The minute we heard that the Holy Father was coming to Washington, talk in most parishes around Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia turned to speculation.

Would we get to see the Pope “up close and personal?” What about getting tickets to the Papal Mass? Is the Popemobile going to traveling around the District?

With his arrival now upon us, tickets have been distributed and travel routes are becoming more available for the general public. Conversations are bubbling with excitement that Benedict XVI will be so close!

For this reporter there was a time of nail-biting awaiting approval for Press Credentials. More than 5,000 applications were submitted and only a limited number would get them.

Thankfully, I was one of them. I am officially a member of the “Pope-arazzi,” as I framed it for my friends recently. Much of my week will be spent in or near the Papal events in Washington and New York.

Our Editor-in-Chief, Deacon Keith Fournier, has been selected to serve as one of the deacons for the Papal Mass at Nationals Stadium here in Washington. He will be able to share a very interesting perspective on this historic event.

The Knights of Columbus are preparing for all the ceremonial activities in which they will serve the Pope. Two of my brother Sir Knights are a part of the honor guard at the White House. I’m looking forward to sharing their stories with our readers to get a behind-the-scenes viewpoint of the visit.

Much of the week will see the Pope in activities that are limited in exposure to the general public – the White House with the President, the Basilica with his bishops, Catholic University with educators, and the like.

Many Catholics from the area are simply planning to travel down to the district in the hope they will be able to just get a glimpse of him coming or going to these events.

A similar venue is planned for the New York part of the trip.

The Pope and the people will come together on Thursday at Nationals Stadium and on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Preparations for the Washington’s Papal Mass have been well underway for many weeks. Special altar furniture has been crafted. Planning for the liturgy, invitations for dignitaries, movement of people, and the multitude of other details in such a complex event has taken place, and then revised many times over. Things are churning as the day has dawned for Pope Benedict’s arrival at Andrews Air Force Base.

The day of the Mass will begin early as buses of reporters, clergy, choir members, and others begin to arrive hours before the sun even lifts above the horizon. The stadium will be a busy place of anticipation and activity.

As the week unfolds Catholic Online will bring our readers along with us on the journey with the Holy Father. Not only will we report on the events that take place but we’ll talk to the people who are there to see the Holy Father.

We will take you behind the scenes at several of the events. This visit is about the Church in our country and her beloved leader who is coming to pastor, to teach, to inspire, to direct and to connect. We want to extend that connection to you.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



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