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Clerics gather in Rome for closing celebrations of the Year for Priests

Catholic World News - June 08, 2010

Catholic priests from all around the world are gathering in Rome this week, at the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI, for the closing events of the Year for Priests.

The 3-day celebration begins on Wednesday, June 9, with a meditation on the priesthood by Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Germany, in the basilica of St. Paul-Outsid-the-Walls. After a period of Eucharistic adoration in that basilica, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, will preside at a Mass there. Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, the secretary of the same Congregation, will preside at another Mass in the basilica of St. John Lateran.

On Thursday, June 10, the schedule will be similar, with Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec preaching at St. Paul-Outsid-the-Walls and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, presiding at Mass there. Archbishop Robert Sarah, the secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization, will preside at the Mass in St. John Lateran. On both days, the meditations preached in the basilica of St. Paul will be relayed by video to St. John Lateran. Both basilicas are being used to allow the maximum number of priests to participate.

On Thursday evening the priests will gather in St. Peter's Square for a vigil or prayer and witness, Eucharistic adoration, and a discussion with Pope Benedict. This even will be simulcast to audiences in Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, Hollywood, and Ars, France-- where pilgrims will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, the patron of priests.

On Friday, June 11, which is the feast of the Sacred Heart, Pope Benedict will preside at a Mass in St. Peter's Square to close the Year for Priests. During that Eucharistic celebration the Pope will lead all the priests in renewing their vows.

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