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Rachel Cooper

Pope Benedict XVI Visits Washington, DC

By April 10, 2008

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Pope Benedict XVI will make his first visit as the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church to the United States, arriving in Washington, DC on the afternoon of April 15, 2008. His visit to Washington will include a meeting with President George Bush at the White House, a meeting with the bishops of the United States at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a public Mass at the new Nationals Baseball Stadium, an address to the heads of all U.S. Catholic colleges, an interreligious prayer service at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center. The Pope will spend the weekend in New York, where he will address the United Nations, attend prayer services, visit Ground Zero, and attend Mass at Yankee Stadium.

See the Pope in his Popemobile

Popemobile routes will give thousands of people an opportunity to see Pope Benedict XVI along the streets of Washington, DC. Here is the schedule:
  • Following a meeting with President Bush at the White House on April 16, Pope Benedict XVI will travel west on Pennsylvania Avenue past Washington Circle, and then north on Rock Creek Parkway before exiting at Massachusetts Avenue. He will conclude his trip at the papal nunciature located at Observatory Circle where he will enjoy a lunch with the United States cardinals and others in honor of his 81st birthday.

  • At 5:15 p.m., he will travel via popemobile from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops headquarters at 3211 Fourth Street NE north on Fourth Street to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where he will meet with 350 bishops from around the United States. The public will be able to line the route along the west side of Fourth Street and on Michigan Avenue near the Basilica. The grounds of the Basilica are by ticket only.

  • On April 17, the more than 46,000 participants at the Papal Mass hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington at Nationals Park will greet the pontiff as he drives around the field in the popemobile prior to Mass. Tickets were distributed to the public through parishes, dioceses and other organizations.

  • That evening, at approximately 6:15 p.m., the Holy Father will take his last popemobile ride in Washington from the campus of The Catholic University of America through the south side of campus, north along the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, then north on Harewood Road to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center where he will meet with representatives of other religions. Viewing along this route is by ticket primarily for the Catholic University community.


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