Week of Celebrations for John Paul II

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Pope John Paul II begins a week full of activities tomorrow in celebration of his 25th anniversary and the appointment of 31 new cardinals. Celebrations are set to begin Wednesday afternoon with a gathering of cardinals, presidents of the bishops’ conferences, heads of the dicasteries and patriarchs. The pope is not expected to attend this particular meeting. However, the following day, Oct. 16, the pope will meet with this group at 11 a.m. in the Paul VI room to sign the post-synodal exhortation on the ministry of the bishops.

The pope will then celebrate a mass of thanksgiving for his 25-year pontificate at 6 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square. At the same time the following day, the Choir and Orchestra of Lipsia will perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Bruckner’s l’Ecce Sacerdos Magnus for the Holy Father.

The College of Cardinals will have met Oct. 17 and 18 at 9:30 a.m. The pope will then address the cardinals at 11 a.m. Oct. 18. It will be followed by a celebratory gathering with the cardinals, presidents of the bishops conferences and head of the dicasteries.

An overnight vigil for the missions will begin at 5:30 p.m. that afternoon in the Paul VI Room. The pope is not expected to attend the vigil. However, the following morning, on Mission Sunday, the pope will celebrate the beatification mass for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

On Oct. 21, there will be a consistory in St. Peter’s Square at 10:30 a.m. And, at the same time the following day, the pope will celebrate mass with the new cardinals also in St. Peter’s Square.

The College of Cardinals will address six themes for the pope’s 25th anniversary. Bernardin Cardinal Gantin will speak on The Petrine Ministry and the Communion in the Episcipacy; Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger will speak on Priests, Consecrated Life and Vocations; Alfonso Cardinal Lopex Trujillo will speak about the family; Nasrallah Pierre Cardinal Sfeir will speak about ecumenism; Ivan Cardinal Dias will speak on the missions and Angelo Cardinal Sodano will speak on the theme A 25-year Pontificate at the Service of Peace.

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