Pope Francis plans to visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the World Meeting of Families on Sept. 26 and 27. While his visit will be located in “The City of Brotherly Love”, the South Jersey Region is also preparing for the impact.
Public transportation will be hard to access during the Pope’s visit. The New Jersey Transit recently updated its website stating that they will offer “limited special service on [its] Atlantic City Rail Line and River Line for people attending the World Meeting of Families and Papal visit.” The Transit explains it will have to limit train tickets based on the maximum amount of people that can fit in the crowd during Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27.
New Jersey Transit train stations will not be accepting regular NJ Transit tickets; however, special tickets went on sale Aug. 25 to service the weekend of the World Meeting of Families.
Meanwhile, normal tickets are still in effect for PATCO services, but according to its website, PATCO will be servicing passengers on a “first come– first serve” basis. Parking spaces are expected to quickly fill up and the trains are expected to be filled at the maximum capacity.
For visitors looking to stay in and around Philadelphia for the weekend of the Papal Visit, many hotels are offering packages and specials through the World Meeting of Families 2015 website.
Unconventionally, the World Meeting of Families affiliates with Homestay, a company allowing people to open up their homes to visitors of the World Meeting of Families.
After filling out information regarding the family and the house, just about anyone living 120 miles or closer to Philadelphia can use his or her home as a hotel and even make a profit based on the details of the stay.
As far as religious involvement, not many synagogues and churches are going to hold any special events. The St. Andrew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church will be holding a festival to celebrate the Pope’s arrival and plans to stream the Papal Mass at the Parish.
“We are running [a] bus to Philadelphia,” said Kathy Emerick, Director of Little Angels Academy and communications at St. Andrews.
This will allow a select amount of people who register through the church to be able to witness the Papal Visit. Pre-arranged group transportation with the city of Philadelphia has access to the publicly closed bridges from New Jersey