Open Letter to Pope Fran: Pop By Whenever

Novelty soap! Circus classes! A massive bike ride with thousands of your closest friends! Here’s hoping His Holiness takes a detour to East Falls, we’re ready for him in our own special way.  

EastFallsLocal collage masthead flyer or whateverDear Holy Father,

Welcome to East Falls! You’ll likely be escorted right by us on your way into town from the seminary where you’re staying out on City Line. When you turn off the multi-laned highway to a winding road along a river — that’s us.

And we’re adorable! A hidden gem, we’ve been called.

Eastfallslocal collage pope lovely in the falls text

Hey, I know you’re busy so I’ve compiled a post of easy ways you can sneak in some local fun during your stay. Go ahead, take a detour on your daily commute. You only live once, Father, make some special Philly memories while you’re here.

Speaking of commuting — have you thought of riding the Drive? Lots of East Fallsers ride their bikes into work every day, it’s only like 45 minutes, and takes you by some breathtaking scenery. Nice ‘n flat, too. Either one: Kelly or MLK will both be closed off for you (and us!). 

EastFallsLocal pope ride collage text

In fact, there’s a crew of East Fallsers doing the Pope Ride this Saturday morning — over 2,000 riders signed up on Facebook! I know, you’re busy with Basilica business, but keep your eyes out, what a sight we’ll all be: thousands of bikes riding together down roads usually congested with traffic.

You can spot us East Fallsers cause we’ll be wearing our red East Falls shirts and ringing cowbells. (seriously, it’s what we do here when we see a lot of bikes.) FYI: we’re meeting up with Conshohocken riders at Trolley Car Cafe, let us know if you’d like us to score you a muffin or something (we’ll drop it off wherever). 

Eastfallslocal pope on a rope soap collage text

We’ll also be squeaky clean — corporeally and spiritually —  thanks to a product I’m sure you’ll appreciate: Pope on a Rope Soap, hand-made right here in East Falls in honor of your visit. Why it’s your spitting, sudsing image! Created with an original mold, sculpted by a local artist into clever soap for now, and later this year into holiday ornaments commemorating the Year of, well, you. Stay tuned or email us to put your orders in now.

Eastfallslocal popeadelphia circus school collage text

I know you love juggling, so I didn’t want you to miss out on the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts right next door in Germantown — they’re doing special “Pope-delphia Circus Camp” classes for the kids who are off school this week because of your papal brouhaha. Kids can attend one, two or all three days of aerial silks, trapeze, unicycle, JUGGLING (!), tightwire, and more.

Eastfallslocal circus kids collage no text skinny

Circus arts are social, supportive, non-competitive, and exhilarating. Kids burn off steam while developing strength, balance, and focus. Not that you’re a kid, Father. As the world’s fittest spiritual leader (and a tango dancer, yet!), I just thought you’d appreciate knowing there’s a nearby studio where an artistic soul like yourself might slip a really unique workout in.

Eastfallslocal collage pope italian market wishwall

Meanwhile, things are good with us, thanks. We’re hoping to catch your mass this Sunday on a live simulcast in the Italian Market. A friend of ours (who lives on Penn Street) is hosting a whole weekend of family-friendly events, supporting The Wishwall Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on helping people live their dreams. Festivities’ll be going on till 6 pm, so swing by if you have time. I’m sure you’d be a real hit!

Eastfallslocal collage pope italian market

And if you itch for one of your secret jaunts out into the masses, Billy Murphy’s is just like a ten minute hop on the train. One of the best dive bars in the city, plus not to name any names but a whole lot of us there could use some ministering. 

Again, I know, you’re busy. Gosh, we all are these days. Enjoy your stay in Philadelphia, Father. I hope you feel the love, extra-brotherly as is our style here. 

Thanks again for coming out, looking forward to chatting soon,


PS:  If you’ve never been on a group bike ride before, they really are a lot of fun (here’s 30 seconds from a Critical Mass ride in DC I enjoyed awhile ago):  



1 Comment

  1. Bah, humbug! I hope he stubs his toe and develops a festering boil on his arse for all of the inconvenience he’s causing me!?

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