A large banner welcoming Pope Francis to Philadelphia was unveiled over the main doors of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul July 29. Father Dennis Gill, pastor of the cathedral parish, presided over a brief ceremony after the daily 12:05 p.m. Mass, to the cheers of onlookers.

The banner is one way the cathedral is preparing for the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit to Philadelphia Sept. 26-27.

The cathedral chapel will offer perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament beginning after the 6:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday, Sept. 20 and continuing all day and night until 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

The cathedral will host a lecture titled “The Renaissance of Sacred Architecture Today” Sept. 23 by Duncan Stroik, a professor of classical architecture at the University of Notre Dame. The lecture will be jointly sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in Philadelphia. Visit www.classicist-phila.org or call 215-917-9077 for reservations.

The cathedral will also host “drop in tours” of the basilica on select summer weekdays. Tours will start in the vestibule and feature various architectural structures such as domes, altars and side chapels, and will explore the historical and social context of the cathedral’s construction. Admission is free but offerings are accepted. For more information visit the cathedral’s Facebook page. (Photos by Sarah Webb)


Father Dennis Gill, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul and pastor of the cathedral parish, blesses the people attending the unveiling of a banner welcoming Pope Francis to the mother church of the Philadelphia Archdiocese during his Sept. 26-27 visit.