Day 0: World Meeting of Families

I drove into Philadelphia yesterday (Monday) on assignment for the National Catholic Register, so I got an early taste of some of the World Meeting of Families. I spent much of my time trucking around to museums and exhibits for a feature story I’m writing, so most of my cell phones pics are of old things, and I don’t mean the patriarchal hierarchy of our outdated misogynist Church. (If I have to point out that’s a joke, you’re reading the wrong guy.)

Here’s a quick rundown of some Neat Things I Saw. (Click to enlarge.)

Franklin Institute: Lego Vatican!

Franklin Institute: Lego Vatican!

Vatican Splendors is a special exhibit at the Franklin. See my Register story for details.

Vatican Splendors is a special exhibit at the Franklin. See my Register story for details.

The next set of photos is from Vatican Splendors. These are old playing cards that were found mixed into mortar to patch holes in the Sistine Chapel

The next set of photos is from Vatican Splendors. These are old playing cards that were found mixed into mortar to patch holes in the Sistine Chapel

Bernini ceiling cherubs.

Bernini ceiling cherubs.

The cope of St. Charles Borremeo

The cope of St. Charles Borremeo

I was really struck but this unique painting of God the Father raising Christ from the tomb

I was really struck but this unique painting of God the Father raising Christ from the tomb

Special mitre used by Leo XIII

Special mitre used by Leo XIII

Catholics are totally metal.

Catholics are totally metal.

There was some beautiful Japanese Christian art.

There was some beautiful Japanese Christian art.

Savoi Faire is everywhere! Actually, Pope Alexander VIII

Savoi Faire is everywhere! Actually, Pope Alexander VIII

Innocent XI is seriously tired of your nonsense.

Innocent XI is seriously tired of your nonsense.

Dalmatic of St. Pius V

Dalmatic of St. Pius V

Papal throne of Pius XI

Papal throne of Pius XI

A really lovely portrait of Benedict XVI by Igor Babailov

A really lovely portrait of Benedict XVI by Igor Babailov

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Hand cast of St. John Paul II

The fish was thiiiis big. Maquette for momument to Pius XII.

The fish was thiiiis big. Maquette for momument to Pius XII.

Papal swag

Papal swag

After the exhibit I sent to the convention center to pick up my credentials. Pilgrims were already gathering with joyful songs.

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I had lunch at a dazzling preview of the Museum of the Bible, which is accompanied by an excellent exhibit that I talk about my Register piece. I can’t show you any pictures of the exhibit for legal reasons, so here are Lisa Hendey, Pat Gohn, and me at lunch:

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That was about it for day 0. There was no programming, so it was mostly just getting the lay of the land.

Philly is plastered with banners featuring Pope Francis’s face and quotes. The windows downtown are soon to be painted by the exploding heads of atheists who don’t quite grasp the actual meaning of the establishment clause. The despicable Freedom From Religion Foundation has already made a stink, and been ignored like the bag lady yelling at traffic that they are.

People full of joy and love are flooding into a city that bills itself as the City of Brotherly Love, but which is nothing of the sort. I know: I live in its shadow. It’s a wonderful city beset with violence and poverty. We the faithful are the solution, not the problem.

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