Basilica to Welcome Pope Francis this September
for First-Ever Canonization on American Soil
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is pleased to confirm that Pope Francis will visit our nation’s preeminent Marian shrine and patronal church on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 4:15 p.m.
Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, rector of the National Shrine, states, “We are truly delighted that Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of his predecessors Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in visiting the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception during his apostolic visit to the United States. We are honored that the Holy Father will celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the first-ever canonization to take place on American soil.”
We invite you to consider donating in order to assist the National Shrine in welcoming the Holy Father to the Basilica of the National Shrine. Thank you for your generosity.
Please join us in praying for Pope Francis and his upcoming Apostolic Visit to the United States and to Mary’s Shrine.
CHANGES TO NATIONAL SHRINE OPERATIONS
Sunday, September 20th
The National Shrine will be open normal hours, however there will be no 4:30pm Mass. The Cafeteria, Gift Shop, and Bookstore will be open or regular hours.
Monday, September 21st
The Basilica will be open for a regular schedule of Masses and confessions on Monday, September 21st. The Cafeteria, Gift Shop, and Bookstore will be open for regular hours.
Tuesday, September 22nd
The National Shrine will be open normal hours, however there will be no afternoon confessions and no 5:15pm Mass. The Gift Shop and Bookstore will be open normal hours. The Cafeteria be open until 3:00 pm to accommodate the rehearsing choir.
Wednesday, September 23rd
On Sept. 23, the Basilica is open to only people with a ticket for the Mass. The only Mass on Sept. 23 is the Canonization Mass. There is no Exposition and no Confession. The cafeteria will serve a modified lunch menu to ticket holders interested in purchasing lunch (you CANNOT bring food or drink onto the site).
The Shrine will open to the public after Mass until 10pm, those who are not ticket holders from the Mass are encouraged to NOT attempt to come to the Basilica that night. After the Mass you will NOT be able to exit Metro at the Brookland station, it will be entrance only. Road closures will remain in place into the evening as people disperse from the site.
Thursday, September 24th
The Basilica will be open for a regular schedule of Masses and confessions on Thursday, Sept. 24. The Cafeteria, Gift Shop, and Bookstore will be open for regular hours.
Tickets to the Canonization Mass of Blessed Junipero Serra on September 23rd are being distributed through local parishes. Due to the small size of the venue, tickets are very limited. The Mass will be broadcast live online at walkwithfrancis.org. Tickets for the Mass are not available to those living outside of the Archdiocese of Washington. The Holy Father’s visit to Philadelphia will afford you the greatest opportunity to see him. Visit the World Meeting of Families at www.worldmeeting2015.org for more information.
Non-ticket holder Viewing
If you are not a ticketholder you should not come to the area of the Basilica the day of the Mass. There are no speakers or screens for people to watch who are not in the ticketed areas. On September 23, after meeting with President Obama at the White House, Pope Francis will drive a short parade route between the Ellipse and a portion of the National Mall in the Popemobile. The viewing area of the open motorcade route is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, however spectators will need to pass through security. Security gates will open for the Ellipse and the National Mall at 4:00 a.m. on September 23 and will close at 10:00 a.m. No one will be admitted into the area after that point in time. No food or drink may be brought in from the outside, but concessions will be available for purchase. Once inside the perimeter, attendees will not be allowed to leave and re-enter until the Holy Father’s Popemobile tour is complete. For more information, please visit http://walkwithfrancis.org/papal-parade/.
Local Street Closures
Wednesday, Sept. 23 (12 a.m. — 8 p.m.)
• Michigan Avenue NE between Irving and 10th Streets NE
• Irving Street NE from North Capitol Street NE entrance/exit ramps to Michigan Avenue NE
• Marshall Road NE between North Capitol Street NE and Harewood Road NE
• Harewood Road NE between Michigan Avenue NE and Taylor Street NE
• John McCormack Drive NE between Michigan Avenue NE and Taylor Street NE
• 7th Street NE between Monroe Street NE and Michigan Avenue NE
• Monroe Street NE between Michigan Avenue NE and 7th Street NE
• 4th Street NE between Franklin Street NE and Michigan Avenue NE
• Lincoln Road NE between Franklin and 4th Streets NE
Wednesday, Sept. 23 (5 p.m. — 8 p.m.)
• Taylor Street NE from North Capitol Street NE to Hawaii Avenue NE
A full lit of DC Street Closures is available here:
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO THE PAPAL MASS
The Canonization Mass of Blessed Junípero Serra will be celebrated on the East Portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The congregation will be seated or standing near the Basilica or on the campus of The Catholic University of America. The Mass will begin at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. What follows is essential information for those with tickets to the canonization Mass.
PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are required for attendance at the papal Mass on Sept. 23. No one without a ticket issued by the Archdiocese of Washington will be allowed to enter the secure area of the Catholic University campus where the Mass will be held.
Parish groups, religious communities, and other groups should consider travelling together by charter bus. All buses will be given instructions regarding drop-off locations, off-site parking, and parking passes. ALL BUSES must register in advance to receive an official Canonization Mass Bus Permit: papalmassbusregistration.eventbrite.com. All passengers must be ticketed guests. All other passengers will be turned away at the entrance. Please try to fill your bus to capacity. If your group did not receive enough tickets to fill a bus, please consider working with a nearby parish to fill the bus to capacity. Each bus must have an appointed bus captain who can receive updates. This information will be required to register your bus.
Metrorail is also highly recommended as a mode of transportation to and from the canonization Mass. Due to the expected volume on Metro, WMATA will be augmenting their bus service to Fort Totten, Rhode Island Avenue, and Columbia Heights stations to accommodate the crowds. The Mass venue is within walking distance of the Brookland/CUA Metrorail stop on the Red Line, as well as the Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stop, also on the Red Line. Please buy Metro tickets in advance and expect delays. (See related Metro service advisory.)
Taxicabs, Uber, Lyft, limousines, etc., will be allowed to deliver guests with tickets as far as the entrance to Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20017 (must approach Trinity from the west).
Ticketed guests planning to come to the Mass in this manner should be prepared to walk from the drop-off point to the security checkpoints. A high level of security will be in place for the various papal events in the city, so ticket holders should allow extra time for heavy traffic and probable detours. These vehicles will not be allowed to park or remain on or near campus during the event.
All those traveling via automobile (including limousines and taxicabs) should be prepared to find alternate routes to reach the Basilica/CUA venue. Streets in the immediate vicinity of the venue — Michigan Avenue, Monroe Street, 4th Street, John McCormack Road, and Harewood Road — may be closed early in the day.
Street Closures: Wednesday, Sept. 23 (12 a.m. — 8 p.m.)
•Michigan Avenue NE between Irving and 10th Streets NE
•Irving Street NE from North Capitol Street NE entrance/exit ramps to Michigan Avenue NE
•Marshall Road NE between North Capitol Street NE and Harewood Road NE
•Harewood Road NE between Michigan Avenue NE and Taylor Street NE
•John McCormack Drive NE between Michigan Avenue NE and Taylor Street NE
•7th Street NE between Monroe Street NE and Michigan Avenue NE
•Monroe Street NE between Michigan Avenue NE and 7th Street NE
•4th Street NE between Franklin Street NE and Michigan Avenue NE
•Lincoln Road NE between Franklin and 4th Streets NE
Street Closures:Wednesday, Sept. 23 (5 p.m. — 8 p.m.)
•Taylor Street NE from North Capitol Street NE to Hawaii Avenue NE
A full lit of DC Street Closures is available here:
Entrances to the Basilica/CUA and Canonization Mass
Below is a map of the portion of the Basilica/CUA that will serve as the venue for the canonization Mass. Please note that there are four (4) security checkpoints (highlighted) that will allow access to the Mass. Only individuals with tickets or with media credentials issued specifically for the canonization Mass will be allowed into the venue. Each ticket holder is assigned to a specific section of the venue for seating/standing. To reach their places easily, ticket holders are urged to check the section assignment printed on their ticket and to use the Basilica/CUAentrances as follows:
• Sections 14, 16, 20, 22, 24, 26 and Sections F, G, H, and I should use the GREEN Gate and arrive at the venue from the east if at all possible.
• Sections C, D, and E should use the ORANGE Gate and arrive at the venue from the east if at all possible.
• Sections 1, 3, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, concelebrating priests, and Section B should use the YELLOW Gate and arrive at the venue from the west if at all possible.
• Sections 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 18, 21, 23, 25, 41, Basilica, and Section A should use the PURPLE Gate and arrive at the venue from the west if at all possible.
Volunteers will be posted at the entrance points to direct ticket holders to the appropriate security entrance and also inside the secure perimeter to assist them in finding their assigned seating/standing section.
Seating/Standing for Invited Guests
Ticket holders should plan to arrive at the Basilica/CUA between 10 a.m. (gates open at 10 a.m., which supersedes ticket information) and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. All guests must arrive and be in their assigned seating or standing sections no later than 3 p.m. Volunteers located throughout the venue will be readily available to direct ticket holders to their assigned seating/standing section and to other locations open to ticket holders.
For security reasons, ticket holders arriving late may be denied access to the venue.
Ticket holders for the canonization Mass are strongly encouraged to dissuade family, friends, and acquaintances who do not have tickets from coming to the Basilica/CUA. There is no waiting area on or adjacent to campus for those without tickets. Security in the immediate area will dictate vehicular and pedestrian traffic patterns and those who do not hold tickets for the Mass may be directed away from campus.
It is anticipated that departure after the canonization Mass may take a significant amount of time. Guests should prepare to remain in the venue after the Mass ends until such time as it is convenient to depart.
Cameras, Cell Phones, Pagers, and Electronic Recording Devices
Cameras and binoculars on a neck-strap or carried in hand are permitted in the venue, however, flash photography is prohibited. The use of camcorders or other electronic recording devices is permitted. All cell phones and pagers must be turned off or set to silent during the canonization Mass.
Guests should be aware that there will be a moderate amount of walking, some of it uphill, from drop-off points and the Brookland/CUA Metrorail stop to the location for the canonization Mass.
The attire for the Mass is business or business casual. Please respect the solemnity of the canonization Mass by dressing accordingly.
Food and Water
Ticket holders will not be allowed to bring food or water into the Mass venue. Guests may purchase food, water, and religious goods once inside the secure perimeter. All food items must be consumed prior to entering the assigned seating/standing areas as they are considered sacred space for the celebration of the liturgy.
Portable outdoor restroom facilities will be available inside the secure perimeter for ticket holders.
The following items are prohibited and are subject to confiscation at the security entrances to the Mass venue:
| • Aerosols|
• Animals other than service dogs
• Bags and signs exceeding 8”x 6”x 4”
• Drones or other unmanned aircraft system (i.e., unmanned aerial vehicles)
• Glass, thermal, or metal containers
| • Large religious statues either standalone or on procession platforms|
• Laser pointers
• Mace/pepper spray
• Selfie sticks
• Supports for signs and placards
• Toy guns
• Weapons of any kind
• Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards
The Catholic University of America is a smoke-free campus. Smoking will be strictly prohibited anywhere inside the venue before or during the Mass.
Gifts and Blessing of Personal Items
No gifts may be presented to the Holy Father nor will it be possible for him to personally bless individual articles.
Individuals with special needs, including parking, must notify the event organizers as soon as possible. Due to security precautions and procedures, some accommodations may not be possible. It is especially important that the organizers know in advance of any guests using wheelchairs or requiring special assistance. To request accommodations, please send an email, with name, email address, and phone number, to Iris Crofoot at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Sept. 17. Requests received after that date may not be honored.
In the event that someone falls ill, first aid stations will be set up inside the secure perimeter.
Family Reunification Center
In the event that family members get separated, there is a designated family reunification center in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center on the campus.
Please note: This is a ticketed event and only individuals with tickets issued by the Archdiocese of Washington will be allowed access to the venue.