17 April 2015

UPDATES: Confirmed: Pope Francis to visit the Pontifical North American College

The Catholic News Agency reports that His Holiness Pope Francis will soon pay a visit to the Pontifical North American College to honor Blessed Junipero Serra Ferrer, O.F.M., whom he will canonize in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. this September, with a day of prayer and reflection:
The Pope will be the guest of honor at a May 2 day of prayer and reflection on the life of Bl. Junipero Serra, set to be held at the  Pontifical North American College, according to the program sent out with invitations to the event.

Francis will be joined by seminarians attending the college, as well as the American cardinals currently residing in Rome.
Several people will present reflections on the life of the Franciscan missionary and founder of the state of California, after which, CNA reports that
Pope Francis will celebrate Mass with the seminarians and staff of the NAC, as well as priests from the Casa Santa Maria [where I now live] who study in Rome and priests from the Villa Stritch who work in the Vatican.
Lunch will then be served at seminary, however the Pope will not attend.
A news conference for the visit is scheduled to take place in the Holy See Press Office on April 20 [more].
Whether this report is true or false, we have not yet heard at the Casa Santa Maria (the article seems to be the first anyone's heard about this], though we naturally hope it is true. After nearly 2,000 years of communicating the Gospel to the nations, you'd think the Church would be a little better at internal communications.

UPDATE 1: A similar story from EWTN News was shared by the Pontifical North American College on its Facebook page with the caption, "We are honored to host the Holy Father next month!", so the story from CNA is confirmed. I can't help but wonder when someone from the PNAC intends to inform us.

UPDATE 2: The Vatican Insider reports that the Holy Father will celebrate the Mass at 12:15 p.m. No word yet as to whether it will available either by television or live stream.

UPDATE 3: While Vatican Radio has published a brief story on the Pontiff's coming visit, we still haven't received any information here.

UPDATE 4: We have now - more than 24 hours after the news broke in the media - been informed by e-mail that the "casa priests will be included." No explanation or apology was given for the delay in our notification, though the seminarians have known of the visit for anywhere between 6 days and 3 weeks (answers to the question vary).

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