HARTFORD – As part of wide archdiocesan coverage of Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States Sept. 22-27, Archbishop Leonard P. Blair will record a travelogue of his pilgrimage to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., said Karin Nobile, special assistant to the archbishop.
The daily travelogue will be in direct response to feedback that the Office of Pastoral Planning received from the “Your Voice Counts” survey of parishioners, who indicated that they want a closer connection to their archbishop and archdiocese, Ms. Nobile said.
Archbishop Blair is expected to meet with cardinals, priests and parishioners from around the world and hopes to record his impressions, she said. The travelogue will be made available to the public through The Catholic Transcript’s print and online (catholictranscript.org) editions and other archdiocesan outlets.
The purpose of the travelogue is to give travelers and non-travelers alike an insider’s perspective of the historic occasion.
The archbishop has said that everyone is a pilgrim.
“To the extent that we come to the experience prayerfully and thoughtfully, we can expect a strengthening of faith, a deepening of love and a renewal of hope. An overwhelming number of parishioners in the Archdiocese have told us that living a lifestyle characterized by the love of God and neighbor is the most important way in which we individually and collectively express our Catholic faith,” Archbishop Blair said. “The opportunity to hear an affirmation of this message from Pope Francis personally can only serve to strengthen us in our commitments to Christian living in union with other Catholics from around the world, gathered for the World Meeting of Families.”
The Transcript’s website will post excerpts from the travelogue daily, along with photos provided by Robert Mullen, who will travel to Philadelphia with more than 250 others from the archdiocese on a pilgrimage sponsored by the archdiocese.
The Transcript’s print and online editions and its Facebook page will also include complete coverage by staff and wire reports on the pope’s visit to New York, Washington and Philadelphia. The October print edition is being delayed by a week because of the timing of Pope Francis’ visit.
The archdiocesan website will have an area in which people can post their intentions as well as an update section on the home page where people can easily access photos and Archbishop Blair’s travelogue in real time, Ms. Nobile said.
Updates will also appear on the Archdiocese of Hartford Facebook page and on Twitter (@ArchbishopBlair, using hashtag #AOHCTpilgrims).
The archdiocesan radio station, WJMJ-FM 88.9, will air excerpts from the travelogue. Father John Gatzak, director of the Office of Radio and Television, said that he expects the archbishop to also talk about the pope’s visit during his Sunday “Archbishop’s Corner” broadcasts aired at 7 a.m. and repeated at 1 p.m.
Archbishop Blair, who lived and worked in Italy for about 13 years, will also make himself available for interviews with major media throughout Connecticut during the days leading up to the papal pilgrimage and while he is traveling, Ms. Nobile said.