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Celebrities Descend on Washington for the Pope’s Visit

Eva Longoria, Moby, Sean Paul, and more add to the Pope-mania.

From Desperate Housewives to the Kennedy Center: Actress Eva Longoria appears at a free concert on Wednesday in honor of Pope Francis' visit. Photo by Web Summit via Flickr.

Eva LongoriaDesperate Housewives actress, self-described cat lady, and political activist–joins a long-list of celebrities who are in town this week on Pope Francis-related business. On Wednesday evening, she’ll make an appearance at the Kennedy Center’s free concert celebrating the pontiff, which will feature performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine, and young artists, including jazz prodigy José Andrés Montaño.

Though Francis himself won’t make it to the party–he’ll be busy celebrating a mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception that afternoon–Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, will be on hand to read a message from his holiness.

The next morning, 7:30 AM through 12:30 PM, tens of thousands of people are expected to crowd the National Mall, between Third and Seventh Streets, Northwest, for a rally on climate justice that coincides with Francis’ address to Congress. Moby, Sean Paul, Natasha Bedingfield, Victoria Justice, and others will be on hand to sing a rendition of “Love Song to the Earth“–the recently released tune featuring Paul McCartney, Fergie, Jon Bon Jovi, and others.

The singers come together as part of the #FollowFrancis campaign, which expresses support for the Pope’s call to care for the Earth. Six jumbotrons will be installed around the Mall, so attendees can watch the Pope’s speech to Congress, followed by rally speeches by religious leaders and activists, including Dolores Huerta, the civil rights activist who’s currently the subject of a National Portrait Gallery exhibit.

“It’s a historic moment,” says Lise Van Susteren, lead organizer of Moral Action on Climate Justice, later adding, “This is echoing very much the Pope’s message–he’s calling on people to hear the cry of the Earth… We’re there to urge Congress to hear our cry.”