Pope Francis will be visiting the United States from 22-27 September. A number of Amateur Radio special event stations are planned to recognize and honor his visit. During his time here, Pope Francis will visit Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. While he is in Washington D.C., he will be canonizing Junípero Serra* and there is also a special event specifically for the canonization. Even if you’re not Catholic (I’m not, but I’m still interested in the Pope’s visit), these are still some interesting special event stations to log. Papal visits aren’t all that frequent so these will be some good stations to put in the log and some interesting QSL cards to collect.
K3P and W4P will be in operation from Washington D.C. recognizing Pope Francis’ visit to the nation’s capitol. Both stations will be active on HF and K3P will also be active on amateur radio satellites. Jim Nitzberg, WX3B of the Potomac Valley Radio Club is coordinating these two stations. QSLs for K3P and W4p will be available from Nick Clevenger, KK4ODQ at 3910 Gibbs Street, Alexandria, VA 22309, send SASE or $1. International cards please enclose $2 if you are able.
K2P will be in operation from New York and New Jersey, recognizing the Pope’s visit to New York. K2P will be operating on HF as well as amateur radio satellites and 2 Meters EME. Ron Sigismonti, N3RS of the Frankford Radio Club is coordinating K2P’s operations. QSLs from this station will be available from Nick Clevenger, KK4ODQ at 3910 Gibbs Street, Alexandria, VA 22309, send SASE or $1. International cards please enclose $2 if you are able.
W3P will be in operation from Philadelphia, recognizing the Pope’s visit there. Planned frequencies are 28.475, 21.275, 14.265, and 7.175. Joe Leone, KA3LKM is coordinating W3P’s operation and will also handling QSL duties: 1534 Forrestal St, Philadelphia, PA 19145 (Cost of $4.00)**. There is also a website for this station where you can QSL via PayPal: www.w3p-arrl.org
W3PEN will be operating from 25-27 September from Philadelphia, recognizing the Papal visit and the World Meeting of Families. Their planned frequency is 14.2650. Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, and the Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club are coordinating W3PEN’s opearation. The Holmesville Amateur Radio Club will be handling QSL duites: 3341 Sheffield Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19136 (include SASE or $1)
W3FRC/WMF will be operating from southern Pennsylvania in conjunction with the K3P and W4P operations. As with K3P and W4P, QSLs for W3FRC/WMF will be available from Nick Clevenger, KK4ODQ at 3910 Gibbs Street, Alexandria, VA 22309, send SASE or $1. International cards please enclose $2 if you are able.
The K3P/W4P/K2P/W3P/W3PEN/W3FRC/W3WMC operation has also created a Facebook Group that may be useful for further information.
N6J will be operating from Monterey, CA for the canonization Junípero Serra. Serra was a Spanish Franciscan friar who helped found the city of Monterey and started the first Catholic missions in California. San Francisco, San Diego, San Gabriel, Santa Clara, San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Carmel would grow from the missions that Serra started. Planned frequencies are 24.950, 21.250, 14.250, and 7.250. QSL via G. Costello, WC6DX, PO Box 1332, Monterey, CA 93942. N6J’s QSL page also reports that EH6FJS will be operating from Majorca, Spain, the island of Serra’s birth, but I have not been able to locate any QSL information for that station.
*As a student of history, I recognize that Junípero Serra’s canonization is controversial. I am not going to wade into the discussion of whether or not he should be canonized due to his relationship to and treatment of Native Americans. I’m simply stating the fact of his canonization and the special event station related to it.
**Don’t flame me for the $4 QSL cost. It isn’t my idea to charge $4 for a QSL card, I’m just reporting what the operation has set up for their QSL procedure.