Philadelphia is undertaking tremendous efforts to host Pope Francis as he visits the City of Brotherly Love this September for the 2015 World Meeting of Families (WMOF). The Pope has confirmed he will be making his first visit to the United States during this event, which is held every three years in various cities throughout the world. Past WMOF host destinations include Rome, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Milan. Pope Francis is expected to visit Philadelphia from September 22nd to September 27th.
Just one month after the Pope’s expected visit, Philadelphia will welcome His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The National Constitution Center will honor the Dalai Lama with the prestigious 2015 Liberty Medal, which recognizes men and women who continually promote peace and liberty to those around them.The awards ceremony is scheduled for October 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm. Tickets will go on sale in September.
With these two world-wide recognized events being held in Philadelphia this fall, it is best to plan transportation, schedules, and accommodations accordingly. Mayor Michael Nutter advises all Philadelphians to plan transportation “way ahead- and have a backup.” These are not events where you can expect to get in your car, park, and go. SEPTA expects to serve 650,000 to 700,000 people a day, especially for the Papal Visit, and Amtrak trains will require reservations ahead of time.
It is a tremendous honor for Philadelphia to host these two spectacular, world-wide events. However, the commuters of Philadelphia must be aware of the impact these events will have on the city, transportation, dining, and hotels during these events. Philadelphia advises all to be aware, and plan ahead.