After addressing a joint meeting of Congress Thursday morning and having lunch with the homeless, Pope Francis flew to New York, landing just after 5 p.m.
He will ride in a motorcade to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to lead evening prayers there.
For his first New York event, Pope Francis will be ushered through the towering bronze doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue for an evening church service, attended by some of the city’s top Catholic and non-Catholic leaders.
There are only 2,419 seats in the newly restored cathedral, making entry into the 6:30 p.m. service one of the toughest tickets in town. The pews will be filled with notables including the heads of priests’ committees, bishops from dioceses in New York and surrounding areas, donors who contributed to the cathedral’s $177 million renovation and local officials like Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
At 4 p.m., attendees heard a musical prelude sung and played the St. Patrick’s choir and orchestra, backed by the newly restored gallery organ, with its 7,855 pipes.