How to Throw a Papal Party

Your Go-To Guide for Throwing a Spirited Shindig to Welcome Pope Francis to the United States

papal-party-2Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States is less than one week away. Can’t make it to New York, Philadelphia, or Washington D.C. to welcome the pontiff in person? Throw a papal party instead! Switch on the 24-hour Pope channel, gather some friends, and honor the historic visit with a spirited shindig! Here are some ideas to get you started:
 
Indulge in Some “Heavenly” Foods
What better way to welcome Pope Francis to the United States than with some of his favorite foods? It’s been reported that Pope Francis’ preferred culinary options are traditional Argentine dishes like grilled steak, empanadas, and dulce de leche, though it was revealed back in April that Francis has also been enjoying his fair share of pasta while keeping house in the Vatican. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, there are plenty of heavenly-themed party snacks to make. Some of my favorites include angel food cake and Trinity cookies. You might want to skip the deviled eggs this time around.
 
Toast with “Holy” Spirits
If you’re of age, toast the apostolic journey of Pope Francis with a holy happy hour. I recommend the new book Drinking with the Saints, which features cocktail recipes and drink selections to match with saints, feast days, and liturgical seasons. You’ll be surprised about how much you learn about the holy men and women who helped shape the Church! If cocktails aren’t your thing, pick yourself up a six-pack of a very special Papal Pleasure brew in the Philadelphia area.
 
Honor the Environment
Parties are fun, but they also create a lot of waste. In Francis fashion, be a good steward of the environment and be mindful of unnecessary garbage. Skip the styrofoam cups and throwaway utensils in favor of something reusable or recyclable.
 
Dress appropriately
The pontiff dresses in all white, wearing the traditional white cassock and zucchetto (skull cap), along with the white pellegrino or mozzetta (the short shoulder cape) and a white sash embroidered with his coat of arms. It may be after Labor Day, but we’ll go ahead and give you a special dispensation to invite your guests to dress in all white to appropriately celebrate the pope. Just have the stain-remover handy.
 
Selfie Station
Pope Francis embraces posing for selfies, but if you can’t snap a pic with the real deal, pick up a cardboard cutout of the pope (or, #FlatFrancis) for your party’s own selfie station. Share your photos on social media, and remember to tell us why you’re #POPEful while you’re at it!
 
Don’t Forget the Swag
Do you remember attending a friend’s birthday party as a kid, and the excitement knowing a gleaming beacon of party favor goodness awaited you at the end? Lucky for you, there are plenty of Pope Francis-themed souvenirs to bring back parting-gift nostalgia. It seems like everyone is coming up with some kind of pope swag, so why not delight your guests with a Pope Francis bobblehead, plush doll, or t-shirts benefiting Catholic Charities and local Catholic Churches. Pro-tip: make sure the proceeds from your purchase benefit a worthy cause.
 
Take a Pledge
Follow Francis’ example by making a group pledge to pray, serve, or act. Walk with Francis by collecting a communal donation to a charity of your choice, volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or hosting a prayer group for the intentions of the community.

Throwing your own papal party? We want to hear about it. Tell us your party ideas below, and share your festivity photos on instagram @BustedHaloPhoto.

Jennifer Sawyer

Jen is digital content manager at Busted Halo. She previously produced video for TV and the web, working for the “The Martha Stewart Show,” ABC, Cooking Channel, and Yahoo. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America, and wrote for “Good Morning America,” before kissing freelance life goodbye. She lives in New York City.