A message from Temple University's President Neil Theobald regarding the upcoming Papal Visit
As we approach the start of another exciting academic year, Temple University is preparing for the historic events our city will host in September: the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.
The World Meeting of Families Congress, the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families, will be held in Philadelphia Sept. 22–25. Pope Francis will visit the city for appearances at Independence Mall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Saturday, Sept. 26, and a Mass on the parkway on Sunday, Sept. 27. City officials are expecting more than 1.5 million people to attend the papal visit, and Mayor Michael A. Nutter has projected this to be the largest event in Philadelphia’s history.
Due to the anticipated impact of these events on transportation across the region, Temple’s U.S. campuses will be closed Friday, Sept. 25. Please note that, similar to an inclement weather closure, Campus Safety Services, Operations, Facilities Management, Campus Recreation, Housing and Residential Life, Dining Services and other essential staff will be on duty and working to ensure the safety and comfort of the Temple community. Essential personnel should discuss scheduling with their supervisors. Certain facilities, such as the TECH Center and Paley Library, will remain operational. The Temple University Health System is planning for staffing and logistics to ensure uninterrupted access to care during these events.
Information is changing daily. A universitywide planning team is monitoring the situation and meeting regularly to discuss operations, logistics and transportation matters associated with these events and to share information with and from the city of Philadelphia, regional transportation authorities and other agencies.
Public transportation will be operating on special schedules and with separate fares during the weekend. As of now, the SEPTA Regional Rail station at Temple will be closed during the weekend. Current plans for the Broad Street subway line call for southbound pickup service to be available only at Fern Rock Transportation Center and the Cecil B. Moore station near Main Campus. Bus lines will be on detours due to street closures. Expect very high volume on public transportation.
The World Meeting of Families website has detailed information about the week’s schedule of events. You may also sign up for the Papal Visit Playbook, which is specifically designed to help Philadelphia-area residents prepare. Visit the SEPTA and PATCO websites for updated service and fare information.
There will be high levels of security in place for the papal visit. Traveling in and around the city, as well as finding parking, will be challenging amid the large influx of visitors, especially Sept. 26–27, the weekend of the pope’s visit. We will closely monitor developments and encourage our faculty members, staff and students to do the same. We will also continue to assess Temple’s operational and personnel needs as we share in the excitement of showcasing Philadelphia on a world stage.