Pope Benedict XVI will make his first official visit to the United States this week with stops in Washington, D.C., and New York.
Can I attend the Masses?
Only if you have a ticket. More than 100,000 were given to U.S. bishops to distribute. The Archdiocese of St. Petersburg, which includes the Tampa Bay area, got 50 tickets to the Washington Mass and 40 for New York. They were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
What's the pope's agenda?
In Washington, he plans to visit the White House, meet with U.S. bishops, speak to the presidents of Catholic colleges and universities, and say Mass at the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium. His New York plans include addressing the United Nations and visiting a nearby synagogue, saying Mass for Catholic clergy at St. Patrick's Cathedral, holding a rally for youth and seminarians, praying at the World Trade Center site, and saying Mass at Yankee Stadium.
Can I still see the pope if I'm in Washington or New York?
He is scheduled to travel via Popemobile on at least two occasions through Washington. Routes are at usccb.org.
Can I watch his visit online?
Yes. Plans are to stream the Masses. They also may air on Eternal World Network, C-SPAN and other news channels.
Will the pope meet with representatives of other faiths?
Yes. He'll meet with Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and others at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center on Thursday.
When was the last papal visit?
Pope John Paul II paid a two-day visit to St. Louis for a youth rally in January 1999.
How enthusiastic are American Catholics about this visit?
Americans don't know much about Pope Benedict, but surveys conducted ahead of his visit found three-quarters of U.S. Catholics view him favorably.
Are there pope souvenirs?
Yes. Catholic groups are selling them. There are T-shirts, commemorative coins, miniature papal flags, buttons and a coffee mug, all with the pope's image. Unlicensed products include Pope's Cologne for $25.95 and a bobblehead Pope Benedict for $12.95.
Sources: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.; Archdiocese of New York.
Wednesday: The pope's 81st birthday. White House visit, 10:30 a.m. Speaks to U.S. bishops, 5 p.m.
Thursday: Mass at Nationals Park, 10 a.m. Speaks to Catholic educators, 5 p.m. Interreligious gathering, 6:30 p.m.
Friday: Departs for New York City. Speaks before the United Nations, 10 a.m. Prayer service, 6 p.m.
Saturday: Mass at St. Patrick's, 9 a.m. Blessing of youth with disabilities, 4:30 p.m. Rally for youth and seminarians, 5 p.m.
Sunday: Blessing at the site of the former World Trade Center, 9:30 a.m. Mass at Yankee Stadium, 2:30 p.m. Evening departure.
For the latest details, go to usccb.org.