April 27, 2015
Catholic University to Welcome Pope Francis
|The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will celebrate Mass on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception overlooking the University Mall.|
John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America, has confirmed that during his upcoming visit to Washington Pope Francis will celebrate Mass from the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where the University holds its Commencement exercises each year. The congregation attending the Mass, which will take place on Sept. 23, will assemble in the area surrounding the steps of the Basilica, including the 3.6-acre University Mall.
“We are overjoyed that Pope Francis will not only be coming to Washington but will be on the campus of our pontifical University,” said President Garvey. “I know that it will be a great thrill for our students, faculty, and staff to see the Holy Father and to know that as he looks out over the congregation during the Mass, he will also be seeing the pathways and buildings that members of our community frequent every day on their way to and from class. We look forward to working with the Archdiocese of Washington, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in all the necessary preparations for the Mass," said Garvey.
Pope Francis announced in January that in addition to visiting Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, he will stop in New York and Washington, D.C., during his trip to the United States. During the Mass on the steps of the Basilica, he will canonize American missionary Blessed Junipero Serra.
The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church, founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops in 1887. It is the only U.S. university to have been visited by two popes – John Paul II in 1979 and Benedict XVI in 2008. Both pontiffs delivered addresses on the topic of Catholic higher education.
The congregation for the papal Mass will gather on the 3.6-acre University Mall adjacent to the Basilica.