Going to See the Pope!


About 25% of our parishioners will make the trip into Center City to see the Pope at either Independence Hall, the Festival of Families of the Papal Mass.  Some will take the train or subway, some will take our busses and some will walk (of course we will all walk part of the way).  The details below are meant to assist those who are going to the the Papal Events.  Please pray for all who are making the effort to join us for this historic visit.  THIS PAGE WILL BE UPLOADED AS NEEDED UNTIL WE LEAVE ON SEPTEMBER 26TH & 27TH.  Please visit our website for additional information.

Traveling on the Bus with St. Raymond

  • Since we are still having regular services on Saturday and Sunday, if you are taking the bus on Saturday or Sunday and leaving your car at St. Raymond, please park along Williams Avenue or in the Parking Lot closest to Phil Ellena Street.
  • Please be in the parking lot 10 minutes before the busses depart (at 10:30am on Saturday and at 9:30am on Sunday). Please use the bathroom at home before you arrive at St. Raymond. THE BUSSES WILL NOT WAIT FOR ANYONE.
  • You will be assigned to a specific bus for each day. Please honor our request to board that bus, as it will help us keep track of whom we have on which bus for the way down and back. You will be given a contact number for your “Bus Captain” as well as a meeting place at the end of the day that morning.
  • Please have a working (and fully charged) cell phone with you for the day in case we need to be in contact with you (especially at the end of the day after we get separated). If you do not have a cell phone, borrow one (and learn how to use it).


What should I wear?

  • Since you will be walking at least 1.5 miles, you should wear shoes that are comfortable and very practical. In addition, you should wear appropriately modest clothing for the occasion (this is not a day at the beach). If you have a “Pope Shirt”, wear it!
  • Pay attention to weather and bring a sweatshirt, raincoat and umbrella (as needed).
  • Bring a hat since we will be outside (in the sun) for a long period.


What am I permitted to bring regarding security?

• Ammunition
• Animals, except for service animals
• Backpacks and bags exceeding 18″ x 13″ x 7″ Balloons
• Bicycles
• Drones
• Explosives, firearms, or weapons
• Glass, thermal, or metal containers
• Hard-sided coolers (soft-sided thermal coolers are allowed)
• Laser pointers
• Mace or pepper spray
• Packages
• Selfie sticks
• Signs exceeding 5′ x 3′ x 1/4″ made of any material except cardboard, poster board, or cloth
• Structures
• Supports for signs and placards
• Toy guns 
  • YOU CAN BRING A STOOL (OR PORTABLE SEAT) AS LONG AS IT FITS THE SIZE OF BAGS ABOVE (18” x 13” x 7”; on Amazon search for “portable stools”).


What else should I bring?

  • MONEY: to purchase food from vendors (think “stadium prices”) as well as to purchase souvenirs.
  • A camera perhaps (in case your phone battery dies).
  • Snacks to contain you throughout the day. Perhaps a book to read as well!
  • A refillable water bottle (there will be filling stations). It must be plastic – not glass or metal.
  • Toilet Paper (they sometimes run out in the portable bathrooms).
  • Any medication you normally take. Some aspirin and band-aids (just in case)
  • Cell phone charger (in case you can find a place to charge)
  • What else do you think you will need?


What should I expect?

  • Between now and the weekend of Sept. 26th & 27th you will hear a great deal of things on the news about the event. Do not believe all the things you read or see as they may “scare you”! Continue to check the St. Raymond website for updates and information (saintraymond.net under “Parish Life & News”).
  • SATURDAY: When we arrive, Pope Francis will be leaving the Cathedral after Mass. We will join others to enjoy music and performances in a “festival” atmosphere. You will meet people from “all over” and have a chance to talk about your family and your faith. We will watch the Pope’s talk at Independence Hall at 5pm and then await his arrival on the Parkway around 7pm for an evening of music and encouragement.
  • SUNDAY: We will arrive and enjoy a few hours of music and prayer before Mass. There will be plenty of time to meet others and come to realize how our Catholic Faith is truly UNIVERSAL!


How do I get ready in the next two weeks?

  • Pray! Read the Gospel of St. Mark and realize Jesus’ three years of ministry were a pilgrimage much like these days will be for us – filled with opportunities for prayer and worship (quiet and public), fellowship, acts of kindness and lots of sacrifice. Get your heart ready!
  • If you are not a walker, try to get out and walk 20 blocks to make sure you can do it! Really – please do this just to make sure!
  • Get to the store and get your supplies and measure the bag you are bringing so we know it will work for you! Buy or borrow that portable stool!
  • If anything changes in your status (like you decide you are not able to make the trip), please let us know immediately as there are others who want your spot!

See you there! I can’t wait to “meet you”!

Francis 1