Archbishop Gianni Danzi of Loreto has announced details of the Pope’s schedule for his visit to Loreto on September 1 and 2, where he will meet with young people and will visit the Marian shrine there.
The Pope is scheduled to arrive at 4:30 p.m. local time, and he will travel to Montorso to meet with young people gathered for the Agora National Encounter. Afterwards, the Pope will go to the pontifical palace and visit the Basilica “for a moment of true silence.”
On September 2 the Pope will celebrate Mass with the young people at Montorso and later he will have lunch at the apostolic palace with leaders of the Italian Bishops’ Conference and other religious leaders.
Speaking to Vatican Radio, Msgr. Paolo Giulietti, general secretary of the committee charged with organizing the Agora encounter, explained that the purpose of the event is to attract many young people. “This encounter at Loreto is an event that is part of a three-year journey the Italian bishops have proposed to our Christian communities in order to reach out to the youth. This journey has as its central theme the mission, and I can say that Sydney 2008 is a central stage in this journey because in Sydney the theme will again focus on the missionary vocation of every Christian, who receives the strength of the Holy Spirit in order to bear witness to Jesus,” he said.
Msgr. Giulietti said that for this reason, “this entire three-year journey has been marked by this theme and therefore it is preparing us for the World Youth Day at Sydney (…) noting another connection between the two events, he also said that “a large Australian delegation will be present at Loreto.”