Cardinal Turcotte to Meet Pope John Paul II in Mexico

Thursday, January 21 1999

Ottawa (CCCB) — His Holiness Pope John Paul II arrives in Mexico City tomorrow for a three-day visit where he will issue his post-synodal apostolic exhortation responding to the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for America, held in Rome, Nov.16-Dec. 12, 1997.

CCCB President Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte of Montreal will travel to Mexico City for this important event in the life of the churches in America. He will be accompagnied by: Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic of Toronto; Archbishop Maurice Couture, s.v., of Quebec City; Bishop Jacques Berthelet, c.s.v., of Saint Jean-Longueuil; Archbishop Roger Ébacher of Gatineau-Hull; François Lapierre, p.m.é., of Saint Hyacinthe; Archeparch Michael Bzdel, C.S.s.R., of Winnipeg (Ukrainian); Archbishop Marcel Gervais of Ottawa; Archbishop Antoine Hacault of Saint Boniface; Bishop Raymond Lahey of Saint George’s; Archbishop Francis Spence of Kingston; Archbishop Peter Sutton, OMI, of Keewatin-Le Pas; Bishop Anthony Tonnos of Hamilton; and Bishop James Wingle of Yarmouth. The Canadian delegation will be completed by Rev. Émilius Goulet, p.s.s., CCCB French-language General Secretary and Mrs. Bernadette Tourangeau, Director of the CCCB’s National Office of Religious Education.

The delegation is bringing two gifts for the Pope from Canada that will be presented to his Holiness by representatives from the Canadian embassy in Mexico City on January 23. The gifts include a quilt from Our Lady of Grace Parish in Dodsland, Saskatchewan, illustrated with various biblical characters and events, and a woven blanket that is the work of Mrs. Lucile Guilbert-Campbell of Acton-Vale, Quebec. The Pope is expected to donate the gifts to needy Mexican families. A member of the Canadian embassy staff will receive a copy of the post- synodal Apostolic Exhortation from the Pope for the people of Canada.

Main Events of the Visit

The following are the main events of the Pope’s visit which also includes a stopover in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. The list is courtesy of the Vatican Information Service.

The Pope is scheduled to leave Rome at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 22 and to arrive at 3:15 p.m. local time at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez Airport, where there will be a welcome ceremony. Two hours later he will sign the post-synodal apostolic exhortation of the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops at the apostolic nunciature in Mexico City.

At 10 a.m., Saturday, January 23, in the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Holy Father will preside at a Mass to conclude the synod for America. At 6 p.m. the same day he is scheduled to go to the presidential palace of Los Pinos to pay a courtesy call on the president of Mexico, following which he will meet the diplomatic corps.

Sunday, January 24, at 10:15 a.m. at Mexico City’s Hermanos Rodriguez Race Track, John Paul II will preside at Mass. Later in the afternoon he will visit patients in the Adolfo Lopez Mateos Teaching Hospital of Mexico City and consign a Message for all of Mexico’s sick people.

A Mass is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday, January 25, in the garden of the apostolic nunciature in Mexico City. At 12:30 p.m. the Pope will meet with the cardinals and presidents of episcopal conferences of America at the nunciature. An afternoon meeting with the people of Mexico is on the agenda at the city’s Azteca Stadium.

On Tuesday, January 26, following a private morning Mass in the nunciature and a farewell ceremony at 9, the Pope leaves for St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. His arrival is set for 1 p.m., followed by a welcome ceremony and a private meeting with the president of the United States. At 5:45, the Holy Father will go to Kiel Center for a meeting with young people, where he will speak and deliver a Message for the children who are patients at the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

Wednesday, January 27, the last day of the Pope’s 85th foreign pastoral visit, starts with a Mass at 9:30 a.m. at the Trans-World Dome. Vespers will be recited at 4:30 p.m. in the cathedral basilica of St. Louis, followed by a speech by the Holy Father. Three hours later, after a ceremony at Lambert Airport, Pope John Paul will depart for Rome, where he is expected to arrive at noon local time on January 28.