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Thursday, May 6, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin, auxiliary of Lille, France as bishop of Ajaccio (area 8,700, population 261,500, Catholics 241,500, priests 100, permanent deacons 15, religious 100), France.

 - Bishop Guy de Kerimel, auxiliary of Nice, France, as coadjutor bishop of Grenoble (area 7,467, population 1,145,598, Catholics 634,000, priests 169, permanent deacons 24,  religious 893), France.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Three prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Anthony Michael Pilla of Cleveland.

    - Bishop James Anthony Griffin of Columbus.

- Bishop Robert Daniel Conlon of Steubenville.

- Cardinal Rosalio Jose Castillo Lara.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff made public the calendar of events at which the Pope will preside in the months of May and June:


- Sunday, 16: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, the Canonization of Blesseds Luigi Orione, Annibale Maria di Francia, Jose Manyanet y Vives, Nimutullah Kassab Al Hardini, Paola Elisabetta Cerioli and Gianna Beretta Molla.


- Saturday, 5 - Sunday, 6: Apostolic trip to Bern, Switzerland.

- Thursday, 10, Solemnity of Corpus Christi: Mass at 7 p.m. in St. John Lateran Basilica, followed by a procession to St. Mary Major for Eucharistic Benediction.

- Tuesday, 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul: At 6 p.m. in St. Peter's Square, Mass with the participation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. Blessing and imposition of the pallium.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received 33 new recruits of the Pontifical Swiss Guard who will be sworn in this afternoon in the presence of  family members and other members of the Corps.

  In his speech in German, Italian and French, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude to the members of the Swiss Guard for their "service to the Successor of Peter and to his collaborators here in the Vatican. "It is a demanding commitment," he said, "and perhaps sometimes tiresome but God will reward you."

  "Always be faithful," he continued, "to your mission, carefully cultivating the ideal of love for Christ and the Church which your families and Christian communities in Switzerland strive to constantly nourish. As you know, on June 5 and 6, I will participate in Bern, God willing, in a meeting with Swiss youth, and I will also have a meeting with members of the association of former Swiss Guards. I count on your prayers and spiritual support."

  John Paul II told the guards he hoped that the people whom they encounter every day during "their humble service, members of the Roman Curia and pilgrims, will be stimulated to embrace the true meaning of our life: to discover and make known God's love for each one of us!"
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2004 (VIS) - Twenty bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Detroit and Cincinnati in the United States, in Rome for their "ad limina" visit, were welcomed by Pope John Paul this morning who, in his talk to them, continued reflections begun with an earlier group of bishops on "the connection between the 'munus sanctificandi' and the spirituality of communion and mission."

   "Like her holiness, the Church's unity is an unfailing gift of God and a constant summons to an ever more perfect communion in faith, hope and love," he said. "The Church lives and carries out her saving mission as 'one body', which the Holy Spirit guides in the way of all truth."
  The Holy Father pointed out that "this close relationship between the Church's holiness and her unity is the basis for that spirituality of communion and mission which I am convinced we must foster at the dawn of this new millennium. ... The Bishop, as the icon of Christ the Good Shepherd, present in the midst of his holy people, has the primary duty of promoting and encouraging such a spirituality."
  "This spirituality of communion, which Bishops are called personally to exemplify, will naturally lead to 'a pastoral style which is ever more open to collaboration with all'. It demands of you, in the first place, an ever closer relationship with your priests, who through sacramental ordination are sharers with you in the one priesthood of Christ and in the one apostolic mission entrusted to his Church. Through Holy Orders, Bishops and priests alike have been entrusted with a ministerial priesthood which differs from the common priesthood of all the baptized 'in essence and not only in degree'."

  The Pope urged the bishops to relate to their priests "as a father and brother who loves them, listens to them, welcomes them, corrects them, supports them, seeks their cooperation and, as much as possible, is concerned for their human, spiritual, ministerial and financial well being'. ... Here I want to offer a word of acknowledgment and praise for the dedication and faithful work carried out by so many committed priests in the United States, especially those engaged in meeting the daily challenges and demands associated with parish ministry."

   "A spirituality of communion," affirmed John Paul II, "will naturally bear fruit in the development of a diocesan spirituality grounded in the particular gifts and charisms bestowed by the Holy Spirit for the building up of each local Church."

  The Pope exhorted bishops to make frequent visit to seminaries to ensure that they "form mature and balanced personalities, men capable of establishing sound human and pastoral relationships, knowledgeable in theology, solid in the spiritual life, and in love with the Church."

  "Proper formation in chastity and celibacy remains an essential component of seminary training," said John Paul II in closing remarks, "together with the presentation of a solid and correct theological understanding of the Church and the priesthood including a clear and precise identification of those positions which are not compatible with the Church's authoritative self-understanding as expressed by the Council and the documents of the post-conciliar renewal. This is a personal responsibility that falls to you as Pastors concerned for the future of your local Churches, and one that cannot be delegated. ... This calls for continuing personal formation aimed at deepening and harmonizing the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral aspects of their priestly life."
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