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International convention marking Year for Priests open to all faithful

.- To mark the end of the Year for Priests in June of this year an international convention will be held in Rome. Events are open to priests and anyone else who feels called to "prayer for the spiritual support and sanctification of Clergy."

The convention, titled "Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of the Priest," will take place from June 9 - 11, 2010. Four major events at various sites around the Eternal City are planned to mark the occasion.

On the first day, the theme of "Conversion and Mission" will be developed at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-walls, where the remains of St. Paul lie entombed under the altar. Archbishop Joachim Meisner of Cologne will lead the reflection and Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, will preside at Mass.

The next day, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, will give a conference on "The Cenacle: the invocation of the Holy Spirit in union with Mary and in fraternal communion” at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Cardinal Ouellet's presentation will be followed by a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

On the evening of the same day, June 10, a vigil will take place in St. Peter's Square, featuring testimonies, musical interludes, dialogue with the Holy Father Benedict XVI, Adoration and the Eucharistic blessing.

On the final day of the convention, under the theme "With Peter, in ecclesial communion," Pope Benedict will preside over Mass at St. Peter Basilica in the Vatican.

According to a communique from the Congregation for Clergy announcing the events, the convention is meant to be a "true and real 'spiritual itinerary.'"

The schedule will guide participants from the "the conversion of St. Paul and his missionary zeal" to "the experience of divine intimacy, root and foundation of every apostulate, in the Cenacle with the Blessed Virgin Mary and invoking the Spirit."

The conclusion of the event offers an occasion for "renewal of the faith and the priestly promises, around the Successor of Peter" in the encounter with the Pope for Mass at the Vatican.

According to the Congregation, the occasion is "obviously" open to "all faithful who, sincerely and with authentic evangelical spirit, perceive the particular importance of prayer for the spiritual support and sanctification of the Clergy, as well as the consecrated souls that live the dimension of spiritual maternity, in communion and under the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary."


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