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Tuesday, April 4, 2006


VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Richard Gerard Lennon, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., as bishop of Cleveland (area 8,842, population 2,853,155, Catholics 802,767, priests 583, permanent deacons 191, religious 1,446), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Anthony Michael Pilla, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 2006 (VIS) - Given below is the schedule of Holy Week activities to be presided over by Benedict XVI, as made public today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff:

SUNDAY, April 9: Palm Sunday and Our Lord's Passion. 21st World Youth Day on the theme: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father will bless palms and olive branches and, at the end of the procession, will celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Passion.

THURSDAY, April 13: Holy Thursday. In St. Peter's Basilica at 9.30 a.m., the Holy Father will preside at the concelebration of the Chrism Mass with cardinals, bishops, and diocesan and religious priests present in Rome, as a sign of the close union between the pastor of the Universal Church and his brothers in the priestly ministry. The Easter Triduum of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection will begin in the Basilica of St. John Lateran at 5.30 p.m. with the Mass of Our Lord's Last Supper. The Holy Father will preside at the concelebration of the Mass. After the homily, the rite of the washing of the feet of 12 priests will take place. During this rite, those present will be invited to give alms for the victims of landslides in Maasin, Philippines. The sum collected will be given to the Holy Father at the presentation of the gifts. At the end of the celebration the Blessed Sacrament will be transferred to the chapel of reposition.

FRIDAY, April 14: Good Friday. The Holy Father will preside at the celebration of the Passion of Our Lord in the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m. He will lead the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum at 9.15 p.m. and, in conclusion, will address some words to the faithful and impart his apostolic blessing.

SATURDAY, April 15: Easter Saturday. The Easter Vigil will begin at 10.00 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, when the Pope will bless the new fire in the atrium of the church. After the entrance procession with the Easter candle and the singing of the "Exultet," he will preside at the Liturgy of the Word and the Baptismal and Eucharistic liturgies, which he will concelebrate with the cardinals.

SUNDAY, April 16. Easter Sunday. At 10.30 a.m., Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Square, after which he will impart the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing ("to the city and the world") from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica.
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VATICAN CITY, APR 4, 2006 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Square yesterday afternoon, Benedict XVI celebrated a Mass to mark the first anniversary of the death of John Paul II.

  Various cardinals concelebrated with the Pope, among them Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, former secretary to John Paul II and now archbishop of Krakow, Poland.

  The event was attended by thousands of faithful from many different countries, the majority from Poland. In his homily, Benedict XVI reminded them how on April 2 last year the late Pontiff, "to whom God gave so many human and spiritual gifts," died. "Passing through the crucible of apostolic labors and of illness, he appeared ever more as a 'rock' in the faith."

  The Holy Father continued: "Those who had the opportunity of frequenting him personally were able almost to touch that pure and solid faith which, if it impressed his inner circle of collaborators, did not fail to spread its beneficial influence, during his long pontificate, throughout the Church in a crescendo that reached its peak in the final months and days of his life."

  Benedict XVI described his predecessor's "committed, strong and authentic faith, free from fear and compromise," which "touched the hearts of so many people, thanks also to his numerous apostolic pilgrimages all over the world, and especially thanks to that final 'journey' of his agony and death."

  After recalling the motto of John Paul II's pontificate "Totus tuus," the Pope highlighted how the Polish Pope's life was "completely oriented towards Christ through Mary."

  "This evening," he continued, "our thoughts turn with emotion to the moment of the beloved Pontiff's death, but at the same time it is as if our hearts are compelled to look ahead. We hear, resounding in our hearts, his repeated invitations to advance fearlessly down the road of faithfulness to the Gospel in order to be heralds and witnesses of Christ in the third millennium.

  "We remember his incessant exhortations to cooperate generously in creating a more just and united humanity, to be workers for peace and builders of hope."

  The Holy Father concluded by saying: "May our gaze always remain fixed upon Christ, 'the same yesterday and today and forever,' Who firmly guides His Church. ... May the strength of Jesus' Spirit be for everyone, as it was for Pope John Paul II, a source of peace and joy."
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