By Tom Feeney
Religion News Service
This the official schedule for Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Washington and New York April 15-20:
TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 4 P.M.
Arrival at Andrews Air Force Base. Greeting by President Bush and Mrs. Bush. Also present will be local dignitaries of the church and the apostolic nuncio, the pope’s ambassador to the U.S.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 10:30 A.M.
President Bush and the first lady meet Benedict on the south lawn of the White House. This is only the second time in history that a pontiff has visited the White House. At the end of the welcoming ceremony, a private meeting is scheduled between the pope and the president.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 5:30 P.M.
Private prayer service and meeting with the 350 bishops of the United States at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Before the prayer service, there will be outdoor photo opportunities of the public welcoming the pope to this national church.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 10:00 A.M.
The pope will celebrate Mass at the new Nationals Park in Washington. This will be the first non-baseball event in the park.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 5 P.M.
The heads of the more than 200 Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S. and superintendents from the 195 Catholic dioceses have been invited to an address by Benedict on the importance of Catholic education. The address will be on the campus of The Catholic University of America, the only college in the U.S. operated by the bishops.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 6:30 P.M.
Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and representatives of other religions will meet the pope at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, next door to Catholic University.
FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 10:45 A.M.
The pope will address the United Nations after an early morning flight to New York.
FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 6 P.M.
Prayer service with leaders from other Christian denominations at St. Joseph’s Church, founded by German Catholics, in Manhattan.
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 9:15 A.M.
Mass for priests, deacons and members of religious orders at St.
Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 4:30 P.M.
The pope will meet with young Catholics, including 50 youngsters with a range of disabilities, at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y. Thousands of young people, including hundreds of seminarians, are expected to participate in a rally/prayer service and to hear the pope speak.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 9:30 A.M.
The pope will visit Ground Zero, the site of the disaster at the World Trade Center.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2:30 P.M.
Mass at Yankee Stadium will bring this historic visit to a close.
The 200th anniversary of the Baltimore Archdiocese’s designation as an archdiocese, as well as the birth of four dioceses — Boston; New York; Louisville, Ky.; and Philadelphia — will be highlighted during the Mass.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 8 P.M.
The pope leaves JFK International Airport for Rome.
(Tom Feeney writes for The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.)
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