Following his own advice to make Lent a time of conversion, Pope Benedict and those who assist him in governing the Church (the Roman Curia) will go on retreat this coming Sunday, February 10.
The retreat will take place in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace and have the theme of, “Let us welcome Christ, our High Priest. 'Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession'".
Using the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola as a guide for the retreat, Cardinal Albert Vanhoye S.J., the former secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, will direct the retreatants.
Pope Benedict and his fellow prelates will begin their Lenten withdraw from the world at 6 p.m. on Sunday with the celebration of Vespers, the first meditation, adoration and a Eucharistic blessing.
For the next six days, the group will follow a daily routine based off of the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, culminating in Vespers, adoration and a Eucharistic blessing at 5:45 p.m. every day.
The spiritual exercises will come to an end on Saturday, February 16, with the celebration of Lauds and a closing meditation at 9 a.m.
During the retreat all audiences will be cancelled, including the weekly general audience of Wednesday, February 13.