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Thursday, May 13, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2004 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Jose Anibal Casasola Sosa, diocesan administrator of the diocese of Zacapa y Santo Cristo de Esquipulas and pastor of Gualan, Guatemala, as bishop of  the same ecclesiastical circumscription (Zacapa area 5,066, population 480,000, Catholics 408,000, priests 28, permanent deacons 1, religious 61: Santo Cristo de Esquipulas area 532, population 45,000, Catholics 34,200, religious 42), Guatemala.  The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in La Union, Guatemala and was ordained a priest in 1977.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2004 (VIS) -  Today the Holy Father received in audience four prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Region XI) on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Joseph Anthony Pepe of Las Vegas.

- Bishop Allen Henry Vigneron of Oakland.

- Bishop Phillip Francis Straling of Reno.

- Bishop William Keith Weigand of Sacramento.
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2004 (VIS) - The following communiqué was published concerning an accord signed between the Republic of Slovakia and the Holy See:

  "On May 13, 2004 at 10 a.m., an Accord on Catholic education was signed between the Republic of Slovakia and the Holy See. Both parties explicitly assumed the obligation of signing this partial Accord within the Fundamental Accord between the Republic of Slovakia and the Holy See. Apostolic Nuncio to Slovakia, Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, signed for the Holy See and President Rudolf Shuster of Slovakia signed for his country.

  "At the same time an Accord on education and religious instruction was signed between registered Churches and religious societies and the Slovak Republic. The president of the republic, the president of the National Council and the prime minister of Slovakia signed for their country. Designated representatives of the 11 Churches and religious societies signed for their parties. This is the first in a series of Accords anticipated by the General Accord between the Slovak Republic and registered Churches and religious societies."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2004 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received participants in the general chapter of the Society of St. Paul who are addressing the theme "Being St. Paul Today. A Congregation that looks to the Future."

  John Paul II recalled that their founder, Blessed Giacomo Alberione, wrote 50 years ago: "'The Pauline family must be St. Paul today, according to the mind of the divine Master.' ... The theme that you have chosen invites you to start again from Christ and St. Paul.  But," he asked, "how can we put this into action? Blessed Alberione tells you: by getting to know the apostle better, by better imitating his virtues, by praying to him, by loving him."

  "The future of your congregation depends on your fidelity to its charism. Make a commitment to always unite a constant search for holiness to the necessary professional competency. Above all, be men of prayer and joyful testimony to an unwavering faithfulness to Christ. May the Divine Master, to Whom every apostolic and missionary activity must be directed in the field of social communications which is so important for the new evangelization, crown every project. With this interior orientation, in full fidelity to the Church and its pastors, you will be able to fulfill the in-depth work of updating the precious spiritual, doctrinal and apostolic heritage that your founder left you."

  The Pope concluded by emphasizing that if they carry out their apostolic plans, which require a great effort, "and constant faithfulness to the original spirit of the institute, you will offer a precious contribution to the mission of the Church in the third millennium."
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VATICAN CITY,  MAY 13, 2004  (VIS) - President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, and a delegation accompanying him, was welcomed to the Vatican this morning by Pope John Paul who, in his address in French, spoke fondly of his apostolic trip to that country in February 1992.

  "I ask the Almighty," said the Pope, "to sustain the efforts of all those committed to building a society founded on justice and peace, in respect for the values and religious traditions proper to each one, a respect that contributes to national unity as well as to keeping harmony and promoting fraternity among all members of society. I ask the Lord's abundant blessings on you, your family, the people of Senegal and its leaders."

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