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Monday, January 17, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Fr. Hubert Herbreteau of the clergy of the diocese of Lucon, France, episcopal vicar for the "Cote et Marais Breton," as bishop of Agen (area 5,384, population 317,945, Catholics 246,000, priests 135, permanent deacons 14, religious 154), France. The bishop-elect was born in Vendrenness, France, in 1948, and ordained a priest in 1975.

 - Fr. Warnakulasurya Wadumestrige Devasritha Valence Mendis of the clergy of Chilaw, rector of the national seminary of Kandy, as coadjutor bishop of Chilaw (area 2,976, population 679,575, Catholics 233,187, priests 76, religious 250), Sri Lanka. The bishop-elect was born in Koralawella, Sri Lanka, in 1958, and ordained a priest in 1985.

  On Saturday, January 15, it was made public that he:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of Kansas City in Kansas, USA, presented by Archbishop James Patrick Keleher, in accordance with Canon 401, paragraph 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, coadjutor of the same archdiocese,

 - Appointed Bishop Juda Thaddaeus Ruwa'ichi. O.F.M. Cap., of Mbulu, Tanzania, as bishop of Dodoma (area 41,311, population 1,698,996, Catholics 318,807, priests 104, religious 543), Tanzania. He succeeds Bishop Matthias Joseph Isuja, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Leopoldo S. Tumulak of Tagbilaran, Philippines, as military ordinary for the Philippines.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

 - Five prelates of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellin of Burgos.

    - Bishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Bilbao, accompanied by his auxiliary, Bishop Carmelo Echenagusia Uribe.

    - Bishop Vicente Jimenez Zamora of Osma-Soria.

    - Bishop Rafael Palmero Ramos of Palencia.

  On Sunday, January 16, he received Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of the Italian Republic, accompanied by his wife, with whom he had lunch.

  On Saturday, January 15, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

 - Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, apostolic nuncio to India and Nepal.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2005 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall, the Pope received the president, management, drivers and technicians of the Italian car manufacturer Ferrari, whom he congratulated on their victory in the recent world championships.

  Recalling that they had come to present him with a model of a Formula One racing car, the Holy Father said: "Your presence gives me the opportunity to underline how important sport is, also for modern society. The Church considers sporting activity, practiced in full respect for the rules, to be a worthwhile educational instrument, especially for the young generations."

  John Paul II highlighted the "enthusiasm deriving from community spirit" that was chiefly responsible for Ferrari's "notable sporting and industrial achievements." He urged them to "continue to cultivate this approach to your work, and make constant growth in solidarity one of your principal objectives. In this way you will disseminate the values of sport and, at the same time, contribute to building a more just and united society."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 16, 2005 (VIS) - The World Day of Migrants and Refugees and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity were at the center of the Pope's reflections today before he prayed the noon Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square below his study window.

  Noting that today the entire Church marks the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the Holy Father said that in his Message for this day, "I wished to underline the importance of integration among peoples which calls for a just balance between affirming one's own identity and recognizing that of others. I send cordial greetings to all migrants and I hope that, through dialogue, friendliness and understanding among peoples will grow."

  He then turned to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, pointing out that it starts on January 18 and has been preceded by a Day for Jewish-Christian Dialogue. The theme this year is "Christ, the One Foundation of the Church."

  "I invite every community," said John Paul II, "to make meaningful gestures of encounter and ecumenical dialogue and to implore God for the gift of full unity of all disciples of Christ. Let us entrust this important ecclesial event to Mary. May her maternal intercession help Christians to form one heart and one soul and all men to grow in solidarity in order to build a world of peace."
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 15, 2005 (VIS) - Below is the calendar of liturgical celebrations due to be presided over by the Holy Father during the months of February and March.


- Wednesday 2, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Day of Consecrated Life. In the Vatican Basilica at 6:00 p.m., blessing of candles, procession and Mass with members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

- Wednesday 9, Ash Wednesday. In St. Peter's Basilica at 10:30 a.m., celebration of the Word, blessing and imposition of the ashes.

- Friday 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, World Day of the Sick. In the Vatican Basilica at 4:30 p.m., Mass for the "Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi" and UNITALSI, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini. At the end of the celebration, the Holy Father will greet and bless the sick present in the basilica.

- Sunday 13, First Sunday of Lent. Beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia at 6 p.m. in the Apostolic Palace's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel.

- Saturday 19, In St. Peter's at 10:00 a.m., Mass and adoration of the Eucharist in conclusion of Roman Curia's spiritual exercises.


- Thursday 17, At 6:00 p.m., adoration of the Eucharist for the occasion of the Holy Father's meeting with young people of the diocese of Rome.

- Sunday, 20, Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord, World Youth Day. At 10:00 a.m., blessing of palms, procession and Mass.

- Thursday, 24, Holy Thursday. In the Vatican Basilica at 9:30 a.m., Chrism Mass. In  St. Peter's Basilica at 5:30 p.m., the beginning of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper.

- Friday, 25, Good Friday. In the Vatican Basilica at 5:00 p.m., celebration of the Lord's Passion. Way of the Cross in the Colosseum at 9:15 p.m.

- Saturday, 26, Holy Saturday. Easter vigil at 7 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

- Sunday, 27, Easter Sunday. In St. Peter's Square at 10:30 a.m., Mass and "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 15, 2005 (VIS) - The Eucharist was the focus of the Holy Father's talk today when he received members of the Public Security Inspectorate, whom he also thanked for the service they perform for the Vatican. He wished them a Happy New Year, saying he hoped it would be "a serene year, especially rich in heavenly blessings and consolations."

  "For Christians, the greatest gift is certainly Jesus, our salvation. In the Eucharist He wished to remain with us: He became our 'viaticum', that is, our spiritual nourishment along the path of life. He sustains us in trials and difficulties: He makes us firm in hope and in everyday commitments.

  "Over the course of this year," the Pope added, "dedicated in a special way to the Eucharist, all faithful are called to participate with ever greater fervor in the celebration of Holy Mass, especially on Sunday. May Sunday Mass also be for you, dear ones, a privileged occasion for a personal encounter with Christ!"
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VATICAN CITY, JAN 15, 2005 (VIS) - An ecumenical delegation from Finland, in Rome on the occasion of the feast of Finland's patron, St. Henrik, was welcomed to the Vatican today by Pope John Paul who recalled the many visits of the Finnish ecumenical delegation in past years.

  "Let us give thanks," the Pope told his guests, "for the warm relations between the Catholic Church, the Finnish Orthodox Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Over the years our dialogue has been strengthened by mutual visits, shared prayers and, in a particular way, by the Joint Declaration on Justification. All this is evidence of the significant progress we have made in the search for full unity among Christians." 

  "As the people of Finland together celebrate 850 years of Christianity," the Holy Father concluded, "I encourage you to build on the Christian roots of Europe, so vital for the future of this continent."

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