Pope Francis is rolling into town on September 25, and you can catch a distant glimpse of his Holiness as he proceeds through Central Park—if the Lord deems you worthy of receiving a coveted ticket to the event.
Residents of New York state are eligible to apply for two tickets, though scoring a space will probably be harder than getting backstage passes to sit on Beyonce's lap while Jay-Z recites the personalized haiku he wrote just for you. But try anyway! Visit nyc.gov/papalvisit—or call 311—between Thursday, September 3 and Monday, September 7 for a chance to win. Winners will be notified on Thursday, September 10. Remember that God frowns upon scalpers.
“The procession through Central Park will give thousands of New Yorkers an opportunity to come face to face with Pope Francis,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press release. “We’re proud to welcome one of the world’s most powerful voices to our great city next [this] month, and we are grateful to the archdiocese for their cooperation in giving even more New Yorkers a chance to join in this historic visit.”
The Pope's stroll through New York's most treasured green space will likely not prove particularly meditative or peaceful—the 78-year-old is dropping into the city for just over one frenzied day, and his handlers have arranged for a packed schedule of sacred events:
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
5:00 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (NEW YORK CITY)
8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
4:00 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (NEW YORK CITY, PHILADELPHIA)
8:40 a.m. Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
Tickets for the pope's MSG appearance will not be sold, but they will be extremely limited, the website for the Archdiocese of New York says. For more information, reach out to your local parish. Don't have a local parish? You're probably out of luck.