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Tuesday, April 5, 2011


  VATICAN CITY, 5 APR 2011 (VIS) - This morning, a conference was held at the Holy See Press Office to present the preparations and the program for the beatification of John Paul II. The speakers were Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome; Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Centre (CTV) and the Holy See Press Office; Fr. Cesare Atuire, director general of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi; Msgr. Marco Frisina, director of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Vicariate of Rome; and Fr. Walter Insero, director of the Office of Social Communications of the Vicariate of Rome.

  Cardinal Vallini presented the full program for the celebrations for the beatification, which he described as "strongly characterised by particular elements intended to emphasise the richness of John Paul II's personality, and the impact of his pontificate on the life of the diocese of Rome and on the whole world".

1. The Vigil, 30 April (Circus Maximus, 20.00 to 22.30).

  The celebration will be divided into two parts. The first part will be dedicated to remembering the words and actions of John Paul II. There shall then be a solemn procession during which the image of Maria Salus Populi Romani will be enthroned; this shall be accompanied by representatives of all the parishes and chaplaincies of the diocese. Privileged accounts will be given by Joaquin Navarro-Valls and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, both of whom worked closely with the Pope, and by Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre, whose miraculous recovery opened the way for the beatification process. This first part of the celebrations will be concluded with the hymn "Totus tuus", composed for the 50th anniversary of John Paul's priestly ordination.

  The second part will focus on the celebration of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, which were introduced by John Paul II. After the hymn "Open the doors to Christ", Cardinal Vallini will give an introduction summarising the spiritual and pastoral character of John Paul II. The Rosary will then be recited, with a live connection to five Marian sanctuaries around the world. Each of the five Mysteries of the Rosary shall be linked to a prayer intention of importance to John Paul II. In the Sanctuary of Lagniewniki, Krakow, the prayer intention will take the theme of youth; in the Sanctuary of Kawekamo, Bugando, Tanzania, the family; in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lebanon, Harissa, evangelisation; in the Basilica of Sancta Maria de Guadalupe, Mexico City, hope and peace among peoples; and in the Sanctuary of Fatima, the Church.

  To conclude the vigil, Benedict XVI shall recite the final oration and impart the apostolic blessing to all participants, in live transmission from the Apostolic Palace.

  That night the following churches shall remain open for the oration: Sant' Agnese in Agone, Piazza Navona; San Marco al Campidoglio; Santa Anastasia; Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina; Santa Maria in Vallicella; San Giovanni dei Fiorentini; San Andrea della Valle; and San Bartolomeo all'Isola.

2. Mass of Beatification, 1 May, Sunday after Easter or of Divine Mercy (St. Peter's Square, 09.00: hour of preparation; 10.00: officiated by the Holy Father).

  The solemn liturgy of beatification shall be preceded by an hour of preparation during which the faithful shall pray together the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a devotion introduced by Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska and dear to the Blessed John Paul II. The preparation will conclude with an Invocation to Mercy in the world, with the hymn "Jezu ufam tobie". This will be followed by Mass, with the texts for the Sunday after Easter. At the end of the rite of beatification, the unveiling of the tapestry depicting the newly Blessed shall be accompanied by the Hymn to the Blessed in Latin.

3. Mass of thanksgiving, Monday 2 May (officiated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, St. Peter's Square, 10.30).

  Mass on Monday 2 May shall be the first celebrated in honour of the newly Blessed John Paul II. The texts shall be those of the Mass of the Blessed John Paul II. Music during the celebrations shall be provided by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, with the participation of the Choir of Warsaw and the Wadowice Symphony Orchestra, Poland.

  Fr. Lombardi explained that in the evening of Friday 29 April the tomb of the Blessed Pope Innocent XI - currently in the Chapel of St. Sebastian in St. Peter's Basilica - shall be transferred to the Altar of Transfiguration, to make way for the body of John Paul II. That morning, the coffin of John Paul II - which shall not be opened - will be transferred before the tomb of St. Peter, in the Vatican grotto. On the morning of 1 May, it will be brought before the Altar of Confession in the Basilica.

  Following the beatification ceremony, the Pope and the concelebrating cardinals will make their way to the Altar of Confession in the Basilica and will pray for a moment before the body of the newly Blessed. From that evening, those who wish to do so may venerate the remains of John Paul II.

  Fr. Walter Insero shall present the new project, "Digital Sentinels", recalling the polish Pope's address to the young as "sentinels of the morning" on World Youth Day 2000 in Rome.

  Through the already well-known portal "Pope2You", provided by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, it will be possible to send digital postcards with phrases, in several languages, extracted from John Paul II's various addresses to young people. These postcards may be used as invitations to young people to come to Rome to celebrate the beatification of John Paul II. Furthermore, through this portal it will be possible to follow the scheduled celebrations (Vigil, beatification Mass, Mass of thanksgiving).

  This initiative, carried out in collaboration with Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center and the Office for Social Communications of the Vicariate of Rome, is managed by a group of young volunteers, several seminarians from colleges in Rome who provide translations in various languages, and friends from other continents.
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VATICAN CITY, 5 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Alfred Agyenta, of the clergy of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, as Bishop of Navrongo-Bolgatanga (area 16,602, population 1,731,343, Catholics 104,165, priests 56, religious 68), Ghana. The bishop-elect was born in Navrongo-Bolgatanga in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1988.
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VATICAN CITY, 5 APR 2011 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Bishop Luis Maria Estrada Paetau, O.P., ex apostolic vicar of Izabal, Guatemala, on 25 March at the age of 75.

 - Bishop Julian Gbur, S.V.D., of Stryj of the Ukrainians, Ukraine, on 24 March at the age of 68.

 - Bishop Agostinho Stefan Januszewicz O.F.M. Conv., emeritus of Luziania, Brazil on 20 March at the age of 80.

 - Bishop Anselmo Muller, M.S.F., emeritus of Januaria, Brazil, on 24 March at the age of 79.

 - Bishop Thomas Nkuissi, emeritus of Nkongsamba, on 16 March at the age of 82.

 - Archbishop Raymond-Marie Tchidimbo, C.S.Sp., emeritus of Conakry, Guinea, on 26 March at the age of 90.
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