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Tuesday, November 25, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff made public today the calendar of celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside between December 8 and January 1:


- Monday, 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Homage to Mary Immaculate, Spanish Steps, at 4 p.m.

- Thursday, 11: Mass for students of the Roman Athenaeums at 5:30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

- Wednesday, 24: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Midnight Mass in the Vatican Basilica.

- Thursday, 25: Solemnity of the Birth of the Lord. "Urbi et Orbi" blessing at noon.

- Wednesday, 31: Vespers and "Te Deum" of thanksgiving at 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.


- Thursday, 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and 37th World Day of Peace. Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, prime minister of Portugal, and an entourage.

- Three prelates from the French Episcopal Conference on their 'ad limina' visit:

- Bishop Gilbert Louis of Chalons.

- Bishop Marc Stenger of Troyes.

- Bishop Philippe Gueneley of Langres.

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - On Sunday, November 23, the process of the beatification of Albino Luciani, John Paul I, was opened with a solemn liturgy in the cathedral of Belluno, Italy. John Paul I was pope for thirty-three days.

The ceremony was presided by Bishop Vincenzo Savio of Belluno-Feltre, Italy. Among those present were Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Bishop Alfredo Magarotto of Vittorio Veneto, a delegation from the patriarchate of Venice, as well as the deceased pope's brother, Berto, and several nieces and nephews.

Albino Luciani was born in 1912 in Forno di Canale, Italy, now known as Canale d'Agordo. He was ordained a priest in 1935 and was appointed bishop of Vittorio Veneto by Blessed John XXIII in 1958. In 1969, Paul VI appointed him as the patriarch of Venice and in 1973 he was created a cardinal. After the death of Paul VI, he participated in the conclave in which he was elected as the successor of Peter on August 26, 1978. On September 28, only 33 days after his election, he died.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the vicar of Rome approved the opening of the process for the beatification of John Paul I in the diocese of Belluno-Feltre in Northern Italy. The opening of the process did not take place in Rome due to the brevity of his pontificate, unlike those of his predecessors Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI. However, a part of the process will be celebrated in Rome as many of the people who knew him and worked with him reside in the capital.

In order for John Paul I to be beatified, the approval of a miracle received through his intercession is necessary. At that point, another miracle must be approved in order for canonization.
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VATICAN CITY, NOV 25, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Antonio R. Tobias of San Fernando de La Union, Philippines, as bishop of the diocese of Novaliches (area 138, population 1,658,872, Catholics 1,492,984, priests 121, religious 127), Philippines. He succeeds Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani whose resignation he accepted from the pastoral care of the same diocese in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Fr. Michael Miller, C.S.B., president of St. Thomas University in Houston, U.S.A., as secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, elevating him at the same time to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1975. The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of the same congregation presented by Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau upon having reached the age limit.

- Erected the eparchy of Emdeber Ethiopia, with territory taken from the metropolitan archeparchy of Addis Ababa, making it a suffragen of the same ecclesiastical circumscription.

- Appointed Fr. Musie Ghebreghiorgis, O.F.M. Cap., rector of the Philosophical and Theological Institute of Capuchin Fathers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as bishop of Emdeber (area 9,176, Catholics 18,476, priests 22, religious 12), Ethiopia. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in Eritrea, and was ordained a priest in 1976.

- Appointed Fr. Hector Vargas Bastidas, S.D.B., provincial vicar of the Salesians in Chile, as bishop of Arica (area 16,521, population 197,856, Catholics 149.378, priests 24, religious 28), Chile. The bishop-elect was born in Valdivia, Chile in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1978.

- Appointed Bishop Thomas James Olmsted of Wichita, U.S.A., as bishop of Phoenix (area 113,831, population 3,651,780, Catholics 478,163, priests 304, permanent deacons 203, religious 338,), U.S.A.

- Appointed Archbishop Erwin Josef Ender, apostolic nuncio in the Czech Republic, as apostolic nuncio in Germany.

- Appointed Fr. Josef Clemens, undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Laity, elevating him to the dignity of bishop. The bishop-elect was born in 1947 in Siegen, Germany and was ordained a priest in 1975.

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