Thousands Gather at Capital Hill to Hear Pope Speak September 24, 2015Add Commentby Lauren Westberg WASHINGTON, Sep 23, 2015. An estimate of 26,000 celebrate mass with Pope Francis outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The mass canonized Junipero Sera as a saint. (Photo by: Joseph Difazio/BUNS) Written by Lauren Westberg Only a few hundred people were in the House chamber for the Pope’s speech. There were 40-thousand listening and watching outside. Lauren Westberg was with them.