Monday, April 14, 2008

The pope is coming!

We're just more than 24 hours from Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the United States, and both secular and Catholic media sites are in a frenzy.

The trip to Washington DC and New York is centered around an address to the United Nations, but his itinerary also includes meeting with President Bush, public Masses in both cities, meeting with leaders of various faith traditions, a youth rally, prayer at Ground Zero and the pontiff's 81st birthday (April 16).

A video message released last week expounds on the theme for the week, "Christ our Hope," which continues the subject of his second encyclical. It struck me that he's speaking to a much wider audience than just Catholics. In the message to Americans, the pope said: "I have chosen as the theme of my journey three simple but essential words: “Christ our hope”. Following in the footsteps of my venerable predecessors, Paul VI and John Paul II, I shall come to United States of America as Pope for the first time, to proclaim this great truth: Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture and social condition."

Locally, I know we have a few people that have tickets to one of the Masses, and I will do my best to catch up with them later in the week to see what it was like.

In the meantime, if you're looking for more coverage, here's some recommendations:
* Conference of Catholic Bishop's site has official news.
* Beliefnet has a blog by pope watcher and biographer David Gibson.
*, our sister site in the NYC suburbs has an extensive site with stories, charts, blogs, etc.
* And of course, Whispers in the Loggia is on the ground in DC. Palma does a particularly good job of printing the full text of the pope's speeches, etc.

And feel free to comment and discuss the pope's message and the spectacle of it all.

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