Preparations are underway as civic and religious leaders in New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia all prepare for the arrival of Pope Francis next week.
This visit will be Pope Francis’ first ever trip to the United States. The New York Times quoted Cardinal Timothy Dolan talking about Francis’ feelings about the trip.
“He’s a little nervous about coming,” Dolan told the Times. “Not that he lacks any confidence in the reception of friendship that he knows he’ll get, but he readily admits he has never been to the United States.”
Social media platforms and wireless carriers anticipate that web activity related to the Pope’s three day visit will generate roughly the same web traffic as the super bowl.
A single closing mass in Philadelphia is expected to draw more than one million attendants, according to the Associated Press.
Wireless carriers have brought in portable cell towers in an attempt to increase capacity for the social media frenzy surrounding the Pope’s visit. Bishops in all three cities have been receiving a crash course in social media and live streaming events. Comcast, the cable giant headquartered out of Philadelphia, has even offered free Wi-Fi to try and ease the data strain expected to surround Pope Francis’ visit.
Pope Francis will spend roughly five days in the United States. In this time the Pope will meet with President Obama and address members of the Congress, following which he will meet with many of the poor and homeless clients of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.
The Pope will also make an address before the United Nations General Assembly. During the trip Francis is expected to focus on the rights and the needs of the poor, as well as the responsibilities of the United States as a global super power.
The United States will be the fifteenth country that Pope Francis has visited since being named the Supreme Pontiff.
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