Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. today. It’s his first trip to country.
Millions of Catholics are anxiously waiting, some hoping to get a glimpse of the pontiff.
President Obama and First Lady will personally great Pope Francis when he arrives this afternoon. He’s got a busy schedule – he’s visiting three cities – starting in the Nation’s Capital.
Barricades are going up. Streets are shutting down.
Tens of thousands will greet Pope Francis at the White House, at the basilica, and at the U.S. Capitol, where he’ll address Congress Thursday. “Everybody is excited. Everybody is so thrilled. Everybody is so proud.” Monsignor Salvatore Criscuolo/Pastor St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
“He’s literally taking the church out to the people,” said Enrique Pumar, Sociology Professor, Catholic, University
They’re coming from all over. One bus of people came from Chicago. “We have our chairs. They told us to wear nice walking shoes. So I’m just excited to sit in the sun all day long just to wait to see the Pope.” – Chicago Resident Jennifer Reid
The Secret Service has been getting ready for almost a year to protect the “people’s pope.” “He likes to see babies and go up to handicapped individuals. So we have a good sense of his movements.” – Secret Service Director Joe Clancy
In Washington the pope will bless food Catholics feed the homeless. “He’s gonna come and lift up our whole efforts by being here saying you guys are doing a great job.” Father John Collins Catholic Charities
“Just knowing that he cares and that he loves people and that he wants to see the best for people. It’s just wonderful.” Christine Torain
In New York, the pope will address the United Nations.
He’ll celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden, and again outdoors in Philadelphia.
More than a million are expected there.
While his visit is not political, he will be addressing both Congress and the UN. Lots of people are waiting to see if he weighs in again on issues like climate change.
Tracie Potts, NBC News.