Pope Francis’ Travels in 2015

Recently Pope Francis has announced that he would travel to “some African countries” and three Latin American countries in 2015.  

He did not specify which countries, so check our blog and also our calendar as we get the official schedule.  The Latin American countries do not include his native Argentina, which he has previously announced plans to visit in 2016.


Mass at the Airport?

Oops…what about Mass?

I’ve found that when I try to arrange my travel plans, the actual day of departure can depend on factors outside my control!  And I don’t like being out of control.   For instance, If a tour I really want to join starts and ends on a specific day, I  have little choice about when I leave.   Or  a business trip, is another instance where I have little wiggle room.  Leisurely traveling on my own?  Depends on the airline, my schedule and a lot of things I just can’t control.

Then, as my travel date gets closer and I realize that I’ll be traveling over a Saturday night, and my flight leaves too early for a Vigil Mass,  it hits me that I may not be able to attend Sunday Mass at all.   Have you ever had the pleasure of trying to find a Catholic Church after getting off the plane in a foreign country with serious jet lag?   I have and I wouldn’t recommend it. 

So maybe I can help you out.  It took me a while, but I discovered that there are actually chapels at many airports where you can attend Sunday Mass (or even daily Mass at some airports).  You might be able to catch one before departure or possibly upon arrival in your next city….or even between flights.  

I once landed in Paris Charles de Gaulle at 9:00 a.m., attended an 11:00 am. Mass in the airport chapel, and then caught my next flight at 1:00 p.m.  

We have just added a page to our website detailing various airport chapels around the world.  Although most of these chapels are non-denominational, they do offer a Catholic Mass on many occasions.

If you are  in a pilgrimage group traveling with a priest, you can usually make arrangements to say your own private Mass in the airport chapel regardless of your day of arrival. 

Can’t make Sunday Mass due to travel?  

This is what I’ve been told by a priest friend of mine:  “If you absolutely cannot find a Mass due to traveling, then you are relieved of your Sunday obligation.  But I suggest you attend Mass as soon as possible and offer that Mass up as your Sunday Mass”


Pope Francis will Celebrate a Public Mass Saturday July 5th

The Vatican Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will make a one-day visit onSaturday July 5th, to the Italian region of Molise, about 120 miles Southeast of Rome.   

The Holy Father will take an early helicopter flight and then will visit the Marian shrine of Santuario Maria Santissima Adolorato in Castepetroso.  From there he will go to the regional capital of Campobasso where he will address some local workers. 

He will then celebrate Mass at 10:30 at the Remagnoli Stadium in Campobasso.  The Mass is open to the public.

There is train service from Rome, but the earliest departure is at 6:15 a.m., arriving in Campobasso at 9:24.  So if you plan to attend the Mass your best bet would be to arrive the night before.  We do not have information as to whether tickets will be required…..but the Mass is definitely open to everyone.  It is about 1/2 mile from the train station to the Stadium.



Pope Francis to Celebrate Mass on June 29…Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

June 29th is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.  It is a special day in Rome, and is a national holiday, regardless of what day of the week it happens to fall upon.  

Of significance to us, as Catholics, is that there is a public Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica in honor of this special Feast Day each year.  

And, it is on this day at this Mass, that the Archbishops who have been appointed over the last 12 months receive their Pallium, the symbol of their office. 

There is a definite procedure as to how the Palliums are made.  The lambs from which the wool was used to make them were previously presented at the altar on the Feast of Saint Agnes (January 21st), by the nuns of the convent of Saint Agnes.  

Then, after they are shorn, the Benedictine Nuns of Saint Ceceila in Trastevere weave the wool into the Palliums. 

This year the Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m.


Pope Francis to Lead Corpus Christi Procession June 19th

The Feast Day of Corpus Christi will be celebrated by Pope Francis on the evening of June 19th, beginning with a Mass in the courtyard of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran (the Pope’s own church, as Bishop of Rome).  

The Mass will be at 7:00 p.m., after which Pope Francis will lead a candlelit procession to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where he will give Benediction.

Both events are open to all the faithful, and no tickets are required, but we advise you to get there early.


Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Mexico

On June 7 Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto invited Pope Francis to visit Mexico and the Pope accepted the invitation, according to Vatican News Service.  

Although there is no firm date set at this time, there is speculation that he might combine his visit to Mexico with a visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015.

 As of now there is no confirmation that Pope Francis will be attending the World Meeting of Families, but with his recent comments on the importance of the family it would seem quite likely that he will attend.  So it would make sense to combine the two trips.


Pope Francis to visit Korea

It had already been announced that Pope Francis would canonize Paul Yun Ji-chung and his 123 fellow Korean martyrs on August 15th of this year.  The question as to where that would take place has been answered:  it will be in Korea.  And Pope Francis will be there on August 15th.

 This is not by coincidence:  Asia Youth Days, a result of World Youth Day, will be held in Korea from August 13th through 17th of this year, and it was already thought that perhaps Pope Francis might attend.  He will start off with the canonization on the 15th and from there his schedule has not been released although he will undoubtedly be celebrating the closing Mass on August 17th, much as he did in Rio last year. 

Check our calendar of events for more details.  We will continue to update the calendar as we get closer to the trip.  

The logo for Asia Youth Days appears below with an explanation of the various aspects of the logo.

The official logo of Asia Youth Day
The official logo of Asia Youth Day along with the explanation of what the various parts of the logo represent.

Update Pope Francis in the Holy Land

The Holy Father announced on January 5th that his Holy Land trip will be May 24-26 this year.  Previously it had been reported that it would be two days but now it appears he will fly to Amman, Jordan on the 24th, visit holy sites in Jordan and spend the night before continuing on to Jerusalem.  

Pope Francis stressed that the purpose of his visit was to commemorate the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Greek Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople that took place 50 years ago.  It is well known that Pope Francis hopes to bring the Orthodox and Catholic Churches closer together.  

Still no word on whether he will celebrate Mass in Israel proper…he will celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, which is located within the Palestinian Territories. 



Mass with the Pope in Rome

Most of us look forward to the weekly public Papal Audiences if we visit Rome and, on special occasions, attending a Papal Mass.  Now, in a new announcement, the Vatican Press Office confirms that small groups will be able to attend Mass with Pope Francis in the Chapel of the Santa Marta Residence where he lives.  

This offer has limits, of course.  It is designed for citizens of Rome, because after all, the Pope is the Bishop of Rome.  Members of parishes in the Diocese of Rome will be selected on a rotational basis to attend the daily Mass that the Holy Father has each morning.  Groups will be limited to about 30 people since the chapel is quite small.  If you happen to be a member of one of these parishes, you may be in for a great experience.  

Since this applies to members of Parishes in Rome we don’t know if there will be any provision made for visitors, although we doubt it as the program would then lose much of its meaning. 


Preliminary Itinerary for Pope Francis in the Holy Land

The preliminary itinerary for Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land on May 25th & 26th has been announced by the Vatican Press Office.  Like everything he does, it is bound to please some and disappoint others….especially in an area like this where so many different political and religious views collide.  

Pope Francis will first land in Jordan on Sunday, the 25th, where he will be greeted and spend the night.  It is possible he will visit some of the holy sites in Jordan but we have not yet been informed as to which ones, if any.  

On Sunday he will helicopter to Jerusalem where he will visit the Western Wall, the Holocaust Museum (Yad Vashem) & Christian sites in Jerusalem. He will also meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and others.

There will no doubt be disappointment from the Israelis that he is not going to be celebrating Mass in Jerusalem.  Instead, he will celebrate Mass in Bethlehem, which is in the Palestinian Territories. The political ramifications are best left to those more in tune with these things, but it does help legitimize the Palestinian Authority perhaps at the expense of Israel.

It is also a very short visit to the Holy Land….two days compared to the five days of his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, so he will not be visiting any holy sites in Northern Israel such as Nazareth.

If you plan to be in the Holy Land during this time, we are not sure what public appearances may be available, or what the availability of attending the Papal Mass.  We will continue to follow this.  And, of course, Pope Francis has been known to go off-script many times.