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Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at prison in Rome

Catholic World News - March 21, 2013

Pope Francis has made the surprise decision to celebrate Mass on Holy Thursday in a juvenile detention center in Rome, rather than in St. Peter’s basilica.

The Pope will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper in the Casal del Marmo, a jail for young offenders. While he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Bergoglio generally celebrated his Mass on Holy Thursday at a prison or hospital, underlining the meaning of the dramatic gesture in which the celebrant washes the feet of some members of the congregation.

Earlier on Holy Thursday the Pope will celebrate the Chrism Mass with the priests of Rome in the Vatican basilica.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is traditionally scheduled for the basilica of St. John Lateran. However that venue was considered appropriate this year because Pope Francis has not yet formally “taken possession” of the basilica.

Pope Benedict XVI visited the Casal del Marmo in 2007, celebrating Mass in the center’s chapel.

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Mar. 21, 2013 6:16 PM ET USA

    There is something about this decision that says something profound about this man. There can be a fine line between acts of humility and well-intentioned acts that perhaps fall short of what is due an office or an institution. Nonetheless, there are young Christians- baptized as heirs to His kingdom- who will be alone and with little or no hope this Holy Week. There are places of pain and people in pain in this world. We do not always identify them or seek them out. Pope Francis does.

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