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Thursday, March 18, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - Pope John Paul this morning welcomed the rector, faculty and seminarians of Rome's "Redemptoris Mater" diocesan seminary, founded more than 16 years ago as "a new and meaningful experience, in view of the formation of priests for the new evangelization." More than 30 "Redemptoris Mater" seminaries, whose students were formed in the Neocatechumenal Way, have been established worldwide.

The Pope said he thanked God for "the abundant good fruits produced over the course of these years by your seminary. . I would also like to thank the Neocatechumenal Way within which your vocations were born and grew. My grateful thoughts also go to the founders of the Way, whose happy intuition it was to propose the erection of your seminary and who did so much to promote, within the Way, vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. . In the past 16 years a great number of enthusiastic priests have come from your seminary," he added, noting that they are "priests dedicated in part to the pastoral service in the diocese of Rome and in part to the mission in every corner of the world as 'fidei donum' priests."

"The common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood are in fact ordained one for the other and intimately linked, both participating, each in its own Way, in the one priesthood of Christ. They differ, however, essentially, and not just by degree. By virtue of the Sacrament of Orders priests are configured in a special way to Jesus Christ as Head and Pastor of His people and they must - in the image of Christ - spend and give their entire life in service to this people."

The Holy Father told the seminarians that when they are ordained they will belong "to the diocesan priesthood which has the bishop as the main reference point, and at the same time will (live) the deep bond that links you to the Neocatechumenal Way." Quoting their Statutes, he said: "Candidates to the priesthood find in participating in the Neocatechumenal Way a specific and fundamental element of the formational path and, at the same time, are prepared for the genuine priestly choice of serving the entire people of God, in the fraternal communion of the priesthood."


VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate

- Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, apostolic nuncio in Spain and Andorra.

- Three prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockhampton.

- Bishop William Martin Morris of Toowoomba.

- Bishop Michael Ernest Putney of Townsville.

- Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, with Archbishop Luigi Moretti, vice gerent of the diocese of Rome, accompanied by Fr. Tomasz Porzycki, pastor of St. Mary Mediator with the parochial vicar, Fr. Carmine Antonio Uras, parochial administrator of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish, Fr. Duilio Colantini of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish with the parochial vicar and Fr. Arnaldo D'Innocenza of St. Patrick Parish with the parochial vicar.
AP:AL/./. VIS 20040318 (140)


VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced today that:

- On Saturday, March 20 at 6 p.m., Cardinal George Pell, metropolitan archbishop of Sydney, Australia, will take possession of the title of St. Mary Dominic Mazzarello, Piazza Salvatore Galgano.

- On Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, metropolitan archbishop of Genoa, Italy, will take possession of the title of St. Mary, Help of Christians.

- On Thursday, April 25 at 11 a.m., Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P., pro-theologian of the Papal Household, will take possession of the diaconate of Sts. Dominic and Sixtus, Largo Angelicum, 1.


VATICAN CITY, MAR 18, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Meru, Kenya, presented by Bishop Silas Silvius Njiru upon having reached the age limit. Coadjutor Bishop Salesius Mugambi succeeds him.

- Erected the ecclesiastic province of Raipur (area 135,242, population 19,057,921, Catholics 367,028, priests 608, religious 1,933), India, with territory taken from the ecclesiastic province of Bhopal, assigning Ambikapur, Jagdalpur of the Siro-Malabars and Raigarh as its suffragan dioceses.

- Appointed Fr. Joseph Kallarangatt, president of the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Religious Studies Paurastya Vidyapitahm, as bishop of the eparchy of Palai of the Siro-Malabars (area 1,166, population 683,482, Catholics 345,982, priests 481, religious 4,266), India. The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Kayyoor, India and was ordained a priest in 1982. He succeeds Joseph Pallikaparampil whose resignation from the pastoral care of the eparchy the Holy Father accepted in accordance with Canon 210, para. 2, of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

- Appointed Jose Porunnedom, of the clergy of Mananthavady, India and chancellor of the Major Siro-Malabar Archbishopric Curia of Ernakulam-Angamaly, as bishop of the eparchy of Mananthavady of the Siro-Malabars (area 48,250, population 10,000,000, Catholics 165,653, priests 266, religious 1,610). The bishop-elect was born in 1956 in Anchiri, India, and was ordained a priest in 1982.

- Appointed Msgr. Andrews Thazhath, president of the Association of Eastern Canon Law in India, as auxiliary bishop of Trichur of the Siro-Malabars (area 2,000, population 2,510,965, Catholics 456,759, priests 380, religious 2,984), India. The bishop-elect was born in 1951 in Pudukad, India and was ordained a priest in 1977.
RE:ECE:NER:NEA/./. VIS 20040318 (270)
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