Cardinal Arinze to Preach Papal Retreat

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 18, 2009 ( The recently retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments will preach Benedict XVI’s spiritual exercises this year.

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Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze was selected to preach the annual retreat for the Pope and the Roman Curia, scheduled for March 1-7.

The theme of the meditations will be «The Priest Encounters Christ and Follows Him.» During the retreat, the Holy Father suspends his meetings and audiences and dedicates himself entirely to prayer.

The days of retreat will follow the rhythm of the Liturgy of the Hours and include three meditations. Each evening, the retreatants will have Eucharistic adoration and benediction.

The last time an African prelate preached the papal retreat was in 1984, when Pope John Paul II confided the task to Cardinal Alexandre do Nascimento, archbishop of Lubango, Angola.

Benedict XVI is himself headed to Africa for a March 17-23 apostolic journey to Cameroon and Angola.

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