Priests Retreat Planned for Lourdes

October Event Organized by the Congregation for Clergy

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 22, 2003 (Zenit.org).- In this Year of the Rosary, the Vatican Congregation for Clergy has convoked an international spiritual retreat for priests from Oct. 11-15, at the shrine of Lourdes in France.



The retreat, held in the framework of the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate, is also an expression of the "profound bond that unites us all to the Vicar of Christ," wrote Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the congregation, in his letter of invitation.

Priests will go to Lourdes to live the experience of the Cenacle -- "All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus" (Acts 1:14) -- the cardinal said.

The Congregation for Clergy has periodically organized international retreats and meetings for priests -- an endeavor launched in preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

The "Totus Tuus" retreat will begin Oct. 11 in the afternoon with a procession to the Grotto of Apparitions and a prayer to the Blessed Virgin. The participants will be greeted by Cardinal Castrillón and Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes.

The Mass in the Basilica of the Rosary will be presided over by Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris.

On Sunday, there will be a procession to the Basilica of the Rosary and the praying of Lauds with a meditation by Archbishop Csaba Ternyak, secretary of the Congregation for Clergy.

Cardinal Castrillón will preside over the Mass and there will be live television linkup with St. Peter's Square at the moment of the midday Angelus and to hear the Holy Father's message of greeting.

For more information and registration see the Web page of the Congregation for Clergy (www.clerus.org) or the organizational secretariat of the International Retreat for Priests (www.orpnet.org).

Or contact:
Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi
Via della Pigna, 13/a
00120 Vatican City, Italy

Telephone: 39 06.69896.285
Fax: 39 06.69880.513
e-mail: totustuus@orpnet.org