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The stars are coming out for Pope Francis this month. The archdioceses of Philadelphia and New York just announced a celebrity-filled lineup for the two major events during his trip to the U.S. on September 25 and September 26.
Before the pope leads Mass at Madison Square Garden in New York City on the afternoon of September 25, singer and Academy-Award winner Jennifer Hudson, musician/actor Harry Connick, Jr., and Cuban American legend Gloria Estefan are among those scheduled to perform, the Archdiocese of New York revealed.
A pre-show in New York will not only include James “D Train” Williams, Kelli O’Hara, Norm Lewis, Broadway Inspirational Voices, Joseph Joubert and Saint Charles Borromeo Choir with Rob Mathes serving as musical director, but veteran actor Martin Sheen, co-anchor of Good Day New York, Rosanna Scotto and other special guests will also appear.
In Philadelphia on the following afternoon, icon Aretha Franklin and rock band The Fray, will perform. Rapper/actor Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg will host the Festival of Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and comedian Jim Gaffigan, star of The Jim Gaffigan Show, will headline a pre-show on the parkway before the festival begins.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia had announced previously that Italian classic singer Andrea Bocelli, Colombian pop star Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra will all be performing at the Festival.
If you’re hoping to head to Madison Square Garden for this historic event, unfortunately there are no tickets available to the public. You’ll need to be a parishioner belonging to the Archdiocese of New York. Or, if you live outside the city, your best option is to have someone you know who is a member try and get a ticket for you.
There is better news for those in Philadelphia as the pope’s appearance there will be held outdoors on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and no tickets are required. The event is free and open to the public.