Pope will lead ecumenical Prayer service in New York
The Pope will lead an ecumenical prayer service at St. Joseph's on April 18 after speaking at the U.N. The next day he will celebrate morning Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral for priests, deacons and religious.
The pope also will celebrate a morning Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral April 19 for priests, deacons and religious, becoming the first pope to celebrate a Mass in St. Patrick's.
Popes John Paul II and Paul VI both visited St. Patrick's on pastoral trips to the United States, but neither celebrated Mass there. In New York, the pope also will celebrate a Mass at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, April 20, after a morning visit to ground zero where he will attend a ceremony with responders to the 2001 terrorist attack and victims' family members.
On April 19 he will meet with disabled children in the chapel of St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, then he will address a large gathering of young people and seminarians on the seminary grounds. The gathering will include seminarians from all major seminaries in the United States, invited by New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan.
The service at St. Joseph's Church is "an opportunity for the Holy Father to address these ecumenical leaders, Protestants and Orthodox Christians," said Joseph Zwilling, archdiocesan director of communications.
He noted that the pope will speak to leaders of other religious traditions at an interfaith service in Washington, on the first leg of his six-day U.S. trip.
Zwilling said St. Joseph's was selected for the service because "it's a beautiful church" that had recently been renovated and because it was founded as a German national parish that includes stained-glass windows with inscriptions in German.
Msgr. Lawrence Connaughton, a former pastor of St. Joseph's who is a site coordinator for the event, said the 113-year-old Romanesque-revival-style church holds about 350 people.
St. Joseph's was established in 1873 to serve the large German immigrant population of Yorkville as well as German-speaking people throughout the metropolitan area who traveled there for services in their native language.
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Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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