Pope Francis visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, in East Harlem a pre-K through eighth grade school on East 112th Street, marks an opportunity for the pope to speak about the needs of immigrants and poor children, who make up much of the school’s student body.
In addition, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden during his September trip to the United States, which will include an address to Congress and a visit to a Philadelphia correctional facility, according to an itinerary released by the Vatican on Tuesday.
His two-day stop in New York City will begin on Sept. 24 with an evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a traditional stop for the pope, and continue the following day with an address to the United Nations General Assembly and an interfaith service at the Sept. 11 Museum and Memorial at the World Trade Center.
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The parish that connected to Our Lady Queen of Angels School was among those shuttered during a restructuring of the region’s Catholic parishes in 2007 that church officials said was the result of dwindling attendance. Since then, a small group of congregants have gathered weekly in front of the 123-year-old red brick Roman Catholic church, holding their own services without a priest.
After his visit to the school, Pope Francis is set to hold Mass at Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan.
The New York section of his visit follows two days in Washington during which the pope will meet with President Obama, address Congress, and stop at St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.
After leaving New York, he will go to Philadelphia, the prime stop on his itinerary. There, he has a number of events, including a planned visit with inmates at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.