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Thursday, July 24, 2003


VATICAN CITY, JUL 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Congregation for Clergy has organized an International Retreat for Priests during the Year of the Rosary in the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes from October 11 to 15 which coincides with the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate.

The "Totus Tuus" International Retreat in which many priests from all over the world are expected to participate and whose theme is, "Contemplating the face of Christ in the school of Mary," will be led by several cardinals and bishops. In preparation for the Jubilee in 2000, similar international meetings took place in Fatima, Yamoussoukro, Guadalupe and Jerusalem between 1996-1999 as well as in 2000 in Rome.

The inauguration will take place on Saturday October 11 at 4 p.m. with a procession to the Grotto of the Apparitions and a prayer to Our Lady. Later, Cardinal Jean Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris, France will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of the Rosary.

On Sunday October 12, after Lauds and a meditation, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, will preside at a Mass, linked by television to St. Peter's Square in Rome in order to follow the Holy Father's Angelus and message to participants. In the afternoon, Cardinal Castrillon will give a talk which will be followed by Eucharistic adoration and the Rosary with meditations.

On Monday October 13, there will be a penance service presided by Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany, as well as confession, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and time for personal prayer. At 3 p.m. in the Basilica of the Rosary, Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolovia, will preside at a Eucharistic celebration. Later there will be a conference and in the evening a torchlight procession will take place.

On October 14, Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes will preside at the Way of the Cross. At 10:30 a.m., Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India, will preside at a Mass in the Grotto of Apparitions. In the afternoon, the cardinal will address the retreat participants, followed by a procession to the Grotto of Apparitions and an Act of consecration to Our Lady.

The retreat will end on Wednesday October 15 with a Eucharistic celebration in the parish of Lourdes presided by Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, and a presentation of conclusions.

Priests wishing further information can contact "Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi": Telephone: 3906-698-96285/ Fax: 3906-698-80513/ E-mail: totustuus'orpnet.org

The total cost to participate in the pilgrimage is 660 Euro, and includes plane fare from Rome.


VATICAN CITY, JUL 24, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ratchaburi, Thailand, presented by Bishop John Bosco Manat Chuabsamai, in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

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