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Friday, November 21, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2008 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of celebrations to be presided over by the Holy Father between the end of November 2008 and January 2009:


 - Saturday 29: At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, First Vespers for the first Sunday of Advent.

 - Sunday 30: First Sunday of Advent. Pastoral visit to the Roman basilica of San Lorenzo for the 1,750th anniversary of the martyrdom of the deacon saint. Mass at 9.45 a.m.


 - Monday 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At 4 p.m. in Rome's Piazza di Spagna, homage to Mary Immaculate.

 - Wednesday 24: Vigil of the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord. Midnight Mass in the Vatican Basilica.

 - Thursday 25: Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord. At midday from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

 - Wednesday 31: At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, First Vespers of thanksgiving for the past year.


 - Thursday 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and 42nd World Day of Peace. Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

 - Tuesday 6: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

 - Sunday, 11: Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. Mass in the Sistine Chapel at 10 a.m., conferment of the Sacrament of Baptism upon a number of children.

 - Sunday 25: Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. At 5.30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, celebration of Vespers.
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2008 (VIS) - His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians, whose See is located in the Lebanese town of Antelias, is scheduled to make an official visit to the Pope and the Church of Rome from 23 to 27 November.

  The Catholicosate was founded in Sis, capital of Cilicia, in the year 1441 following the move of the Catholicosate of All Armenians back to its original See of Etchmiadzin in Armenia. The Catholicosate of Cilicia enjoyed local jurisdiction, though spiritually subject to the authority of Etchmiadzin. In 1921 the See was transferred to Aleppo in Syria, and in 1930 to Antelias. Its jurisdiction currently extends to Syria, Cyprus, Iran and Greece.

  A communique made public yesterday afternoon announces that the Catholicos will visit St. Peter's Basilica on the morning of Monday 24 November. There he will pray at the tomb of John Paul II before moving on to the Patio of St. Gregory the Illuminator to pay homage to the saint considered to be the apostle of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He will subsequently be received in audience by Benedict XVI.

  On Wednesday 26 November, the Catholicos, his entourage, and a group of around 50 Armenian lay people who have come to Rome for the visit will attend the weekly general audience.

  The programme of the Catholicos' visit includes two other celebrations. On 24 November, in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, he will attend a liturgy with Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the basilica, and some members of the cathedral chapter.

  On Tuesday 25 November, he will attend Vespers in the basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Isola Tiberina in Rome, where he will offer a relic of Armenian martyrs. Later the same day he will participate in a prayer meeting at the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

  The Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians will also participate in an academic ceremony to be held in his honour at the Pontifical Urban University, and meet with Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and other officials of that dicastery.


VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2008 (VIS) - At 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday 26 November, in the Casina Pio IV, which is located in the Vatican Gardens and is the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, an inauguration ceremony will be held for the new installation of photoelectric panels on the roof of the Paul VI Hall.

  Participating in the event will be Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Pier Carlo Cuscianna, director of technical services of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Livio De Santoli of Rome's "La Sapienza" University; Frank Asbeck, president of Solar World AG, and Carlo Rubbia, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics.

  The photovoltaic array on the Paul VI Hall is one of the "concrete and tangible initiatives" with which Vatican City State is promoting the protection of the environment, reads a communique released by the Holy See Press Office.

  The 2,400 modules of the installation replace the concrete roof panels, reproducing the dimensions of the original tiles in the project of the building's architect, Pier Luigi Nervi. They have a dual function: "passively" protecting the building from the elements and "actively" converting solar energy into electricity.

  This initiative is part of the "green culture characterised by ethical values", promoted by Benedict XVI.
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 - Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola of Tshumbe, president of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 - Renato Schifani, president of the Senate of the Italian Republic, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Giambattista Diquattro, apostolic nuncio to Panama, as apostolic nuncio to Bolivia.

 - Appointed Fr. Paul Desfarges S.J., superior of the Jesuit community of Algiers, Algeria, and director of the "Ben Smen" centre for spiritual retreats, as bishop of Constantine (area 110,522, population 11,372,000, Catholics 300, priests 18, religious 34), Algeria. The bishop-elect was born in Saint-Etienne, France in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1975. He succeeds Bishop Gabriel Piroird, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Yves Le Saux of the clergy of Autun, France, director of seminarians, deacons and priests of the "Communaute de l'Emmanuel", as bishop of Le Mans (area 6,244, population 530,000, Catholics 349,000, priests 166, permanent deacons 28, religious 580), France. The bishop-elect was born in Hennebont, France in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1986.
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