Benedict XVI to concelebrate at canonization mass

Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, April 18, 2012. Credit: Catholic News Agency.

The Holy See’s press office has announced that retired pontiff Benedict XVI will be a concelebrant at Sunday’s mass and canonizations of John Paul II and John XXIII.

“Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has accepted the invitation of Pope Francis to attend the canonization. He will concelebrate the mass, but not at the altar,” announced Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi at a press conference on April 26.

The head of the Holy See’s press office went on to explain that due to his advanced age, the retired pontiff will be seated with the other cardinals under a special tent in case of inclement weather, rather than directly at the altar with Pope Francis.

The elderly former Pope resigned the papacy in February 2013 due to his age and deteriorating strength. He resides in a monastic setting behind St. Peter’s Basilica.

Sunday’s mass of canonization will be held in St. Peter’s square. Fr. Lombardi announced today that St. Peter’s basilica will be open after the mass until about 10 p.m.

Pilgrims will have the opportunity to visit the relics of the two saints in the basilica, and will see that the title written on altar where John Paul II is buried has been changed from “Blessed John Paul II” to “Saint John Paul II” in Latin.

During the mass, the reliquary of John XXIII will be carried by four of his nieces and nephews, while those carrying that of John Paul II include Floribeth Mora, a Costa Rican woman who was healed from a brain aneurysm through the intercession of the late Pope.

French Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, whose healing from Parkinson’s was acknowledged as miracle in the cause for John Paul II’s beatification, will read the prayers of intercession during the liturgy.

On Monday morning, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, who is in charge of St. Peter’s Basilica, will celebrate a mass of thanksgiving particularly for the sainthood of John Paul II. The mass is especially for Polish pilgrims, and the choir of Krakow will sing.

Another mass of thanksgiving, for John XXIII, will be held Monday at the church of San Carlo in central Rome. Pilgrims from Bergamo, Italy, the late Pontiff’s home town, will be in attendance.


Things beyond our imagination

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Recently, at an academic dinner, I was sitting across the table from a nuclear scientist. At one point, I asked him this question: Do you believe that there’s human life on other planets? His answer surprised me: “As a scientist, no, I don’t believe there’s human life on another planet.


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October 4, 2015

  • Sunday, October 4

    Gerard Thomas Straub Book Signing, 9 a.m.- 1p.m., Holy Family Bookstore, 1519 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. Straub will discuss his newly re-released book, “The Sun and Moon Over Assisi.” (626) 403-6133.

    St. Kateri Mass, 11 a.m., St. Marcellinus Church, 2349 Strong Ave., Commerce. Everyone is welcome to honor and follow in the footsteps of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Potluck and raffle immediately following – bring a favorite dish to share!

    Faith Support on Our Cancer Journey, 2-4 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. This afternoon of reflection will explore ways for those struggling with cancer can nurture their spirits and seek divine guidance and support. $25 ($20 if paid in full by September 25). (310) 377-4867.

    “Come and See” Vocation Event, 2-7 p.m., Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, 2927 S Greenville St., Santa Ana. Single women of high school and college age are invited by Sacred Heart Sisters to learn more about religious life. Dinner will be provided. RSVP by Oct. 3 at (714) 557-4583 or 

    Once Upon a Time: Stories to Awaken the Mysteries of the Heart, 3-5 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. $25. (310) 377-4867.

    Rosary and Mass for Life, Rosary: 4:30 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Contact Sylvia Aimerito (562) 429-1965.

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