Archive for April 8th, 2008

The USCCB Office of Media Relations has announced the routes that the Popemobile will follow during the Holy Father’s visit to Washington, D.C.

After the pope’s April 16 visit at the White House, around noon, the pope will travel in the popemobile to the Vatican Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue. From the White House, the route will follow Pennsylvania Avenue to Washington Circle. From there, the motorcade will head toward Massachusetts Avenue through Rock Creek Parkway, to the residence located across from the U.S. Naval Observatory.

The public generally can see the pope from the sidewalks throughout the route. Sidewalks immediately in front of the White House and Lafayette Park, directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, will be closed to the public. Washington Circle also will be closed as a viewing location.

Later that day, at approximately 4:15 p.m., the pope will board the popemobile for a second motorcade from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offices, 3211 4th Street, NE, to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Michigan Avenue, where he will meet with the U.S. bishops. The public can see the pope along this route from the west side of 4th Street, NE and from the south side of Michigan Avenue in front of and across the Street from the Shrine.

On April 17, a third opportunity to see Pope Benedict will be on the campus of The Catholic University of America, as he travels across campus to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center to meet with faith leaders from many religions. Access to viewing areas on Catholic University’s campus is available only through tickets that the University has made available through local church-sponsored Catholic organizations. Tickets are available in blocks of 50 or more only to local Catholic Church-sponsored organizations (including parishes). Submissions for blocks of tickets must be sent no later than Thursday, April 10, to papalvisit@cua.edu . Name, address and affiliation are required.

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In 1884, the Third Plenary Council of the U.S. Bishops, held in Baltimore, Md., encouraged every parish to establish a parochial school for the benefit of the children of the parish.

However, the commitment of Catholics in the United States to Catholic education began much earlier. In 1789, Georgetown University was founded as the first Catholic college in the United States. In 1791, St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore opened its doors. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton opened a free school staffed by sisters in 1810. In 1828, Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange and her companions opened the first Catholic school for African-American children in the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century, many orders of religious men and women came to the United States to establish schools for the rapidly growing Catholic population.

In 2007, total Catholic school student enrollment was 2,397,187 with 6,562 elementary schools educating 1,724,761 students and 1,350 high schools educating 672,426 students. Minority students made up 25.7% of the total enrollment and non-Catholic students were 13.8% of the total enrollment (up from 11.2% in 1980 and 2.7% in 1970).


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What’s In a Name?

When a man is elected Pope, he traditionally selects a new name, signifying his new identity and his new mission. His choice of name may speak to Popes and saints who have inspired him.

Less than a week after becoming Pope, Pope Benedict XVI explained why he chose his name:

I wanted to be called Benedict XVI in order to create a spiritual bond with Benedict XV, who steered the Church through the period of turmoil caused by the First World War. He was a courageous and authentic prophet of peace and strove with brave courage first of all to avert the tragedy of the war and then to limit its harmful consequences. Treading in his footsteps, I would like to place my ministry at the service of reconciliation and harmony between persons and peoples, since I am profoundly convinced that the great good of peace is first and foremost a gift of God, a precious but unfortunately fragile gift to pray for, safeguard and build up, day after day, with the help of all.

The name “Benedict” also calls to mind the extraordinary figure of the great “Patriarch of Western Monasticism”, St Benedict of Norcia, Co-Patron of Europe together with Sts Cyril and Methodius, and the women Saints, Bridget of Sweden, Catherine of Siena and Edith Stein. The gradual expansion of the Benedictine Order that he founded had an enormous influence on the spread of Christianity across the Continent. St Benedict is therefore deeply venerated, also in Germany and particularly in Bavaria, my birthplace; he is a fundamental reference point for European unity and a powerful reminder of the indispensable Christian roots of his culture and civilization.

Source: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20050427_en.html

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