By David Karas | Correspondent

Preparations are underway in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families, and in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York for the visit of Pope Francis. Organizers have launched a special website for the momentous occasions,, and the constantly updated Web platform includes everything you need to know about the events.

We are also keeping tabs on plans throughout the region, as well as in parishes across the Diocese of Trenton, and will be sharing news as soon as it is available. Be sure to visit for updates. And if you know about a parish event you would like to share, email us at

Here are some of the latest updates:

NJ Transit to have limited service during Papal Visit

Officials with NJ Transit have shared service updates for the upcoming World Meeting of Families and the visit of Pope Francis.

Limited special service will be offered Sept. 26 and 27, though officials are warning that it will not be able to accommodate all travelers on the state’s public transportation system.

“With nearly 2 million people expected to attend the World Meeting of Families and Papal visit in Philadelphia, NJ Transit will accommodate as many passengers as its system safely allows. Unfortunately, these safety and capacity limitations mean only a fraction of the anticipated passenger demand can be met,” said NJ Transit spokesperson Veronique Hakim. “We have put forth a transportation plan that will get as many people as possible, as close as possible to Philadelphia, all with an eye on safety.”

During the weekend of the Holy Father’s visit, the transit authority will not operate regular weekend service on either the Atlantic City Rail Line or the River Line.

Special tickets went on sale at noon Aug. 15 for those planning to use either of the lines, which will be operating on a limited schedule. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and no one will be able to ride without the special event ticket.

“It’s also important to note for people new to our system and especially our regular customers that this will not be a typical weekend travel experience, and we urge everyone to plan accordingly,” Hakim added.

In a release, NJ Transit indicated that those traveling in and around Philadelphia should expect delays.

“Customers traveling to the World Meeting of Families events and Papal event should expect long waits – particularly following the Papal ceremony on Sunday which could have people waiting for several hours,” the authority advised. “Customers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of some of the activities following the ceremony which are being put in place by the World Meeting of Families to help meter the crowds.”

For more information, visit

Registration deadline Aug. 31 for buses seeking access

Following periodic announcements by officials regarding traffic patterns, security perimeters and restricted roadways during the visit of Pope Francis, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation shared that registered buses will have access to restricted roadways during the weekend of Sept. 26-27.

Buses, as well as motor coaches, school buses, mini buses, RVs and 8-14 passenger vehicles registered with GO GROUND for the Papal visit will be provided placards to ensure access to restricted roadways and off-ramps during the weekend, including I-76.

Bus registration is required, and is the responsibility of bus operators, officials have said. The deadline to register is Aug. 31, and can be done online at Parishes using their own buses must register as the operator. Parking spaces for buses are still available, and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.