POPE JOHN PAUL II come to Baltimore Sunday for a whirlwind 10-hour visit during which thousands will pray with him at a Mass at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and thousands more will wave and cheer as he leads a parade through downtown streets in his white bulletproof vehicle.
It will be the first trip by a reigning pontiff to the oldest Roman Catholic archdiocese in he United State, although Pope John Paul II and two former popes -- Paul VI and Pius XII -- were visitors here as cardinals.
Before leaving Baltimore for Rome on Sunday night, the pope will have lunch at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen on Franklin Street. He will rest at Cardinal William H. Keeler's residence and be given a private tour of the adjacent Basilica of the Assumption, the nation's first Catholic cathedral. He then will pray with leaders of other faiths at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
The pope will meet briefly with men studing for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park before boarding a helicopter for Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Vice President Al Gore is expected to join the pope for an 8 p.m. ceremony.
History's most-taveled pope has kept up a busy schedule since canceling last October's planned visit.
In the last year, he has preached in the Philippines, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cameroon, Kenya and South Afica.
When Cardinal Keeler announced in March that the trip to Baltimore was rescheduled, he said the city would welcome a pope who had published a best-seller and had been named Time magazine's "Man of the Year." Crowds will cause traffic problems downtown.
With huge crowds expected in Baltimore for Pope John Paul II's visit, organizers are warning that downtown could experience taffic gridlock of biblical proportions.
Their advice: Visitors should either ride mass transit or plan to come earlyand stay late for events.
"If you're going to drive downtown, you're going to have to display some patience," warned George G. Balog, Baltimore's public works director.
People who elect to drive should look for parking as soon as they reach downtown, Mr. Balog said, and not expect to circle around the Inner Harbor.
There will be little on-street parking available. Violators will have their cars towed (a $52 ticket) to one of four lots. To get information about their vehicles, owner will have to contact the police or call 396-8111.
Even people who don't plan to attend the papal events may be affected by the heavy traffic and street closures. Officials recommend they avoid the "impact area" downtown 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., four major North Baltimore streets will be closed for the pontiff's visit to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen: Northern Parkway from the Jones Falls Expressway to Charles Street, Falls Road from Cold Spring Lane to Lake Avenue, Roland Avenue fom Deepdene Road to Lake Avenue, and Charles Street from Cold Spring Road to Lake Avenue.
The Mass Transit Administration is offering a $5 commemorative pass that will be good for an unlimited number of rides on Metro, the Central Light Rail line and on all buses. Others will face fares of $2.50 to $4.50 round trip.
A limited number of $15 Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) passes will be good on the single Camden line train running from Washington that day. The 1,300-seat train makes stops at Greenbelt, Muirkirk, Laurel and Savage.
MTA officials are encouraging visitors to use the Metro The subway line has 8,000 free parking spaces. Six of the MTA's express bus lines will be operating for the event. The expess buses will bring people from park-and-ride lots to downtown between 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. 9:50 a.m.
Arrival and welcome at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
The pope arrives at Oriole Park at Camden yards and tours around the stadium in the pope-mobile.
Celebration of Mass at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, including a homily by Pope John Paul II and the recitation of the Angelus.
Papal parade from Oriole Park at Camden yards to the Basilica of the Assumption. It is scheduled to begin at Pratt and Paca streets and will proceed east on Pratt, north on Light, west on Baltimore and north on Charles. The pope will leave the parade route at Charles and Saratoga streets, but the parade units will continue west on Saratoga St. to Park Ave.
Lunch at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen. The pope will eat the same fare that is normally served to the homeless at the soup kitchen. Pope John Paul's II's 22 luncheon guests, who include the homeless, immigrants, the developmentally disabled and a single mother, are representatives of six of the 50 programs run by Associated Catholic Charities. After lunch, the pope will rest before the evening's activities.