Pope to Open Australia's 1st Pilgrim Center in Rome

ROME, OCT. 13, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will open Australia’s first pilgrim center in Rome next week, as Sydney’s Cardinal George Pell welcomes him to Domus Australia.

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The archdiocese reported to ZENIT that the Pope will personally visit the center Oct. 19. 

Sydney’s St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir has travelled to Rome and will sing for the event.

Although all visitors will be welcome at the new center, Domus Australia is designed to be «especially welcoming» to Australian Catholics and visitors from New Zealand and Oceania.

In December 2008, a group of Australian dioceses led by the Archdiocese of Sydney purchased the student house of the Marist Fathers located at Via Cernaia 14/B, which was to become Domus Australia.  

The center’s complex now comprises four «blocks» surrounding a central internal courtyard and includes a chapel for 150 people, conference facilities, 32 guest rooms, a dining room and lounge area, and a rooftop bar. Amenities include daily Mass and an English information center to help visitors learn about the history of the Church and suggest places of religious significance to visit while in Rome. 

Cardinal Pell said Domus Australia «will provide Australians with a true pilgrimage experience and further strengthen the links between the Church in Australia and the Church in Rome.»

The official opening will be Webcast live with footage streaming at 4:30 p.m. Rome time and 1:30 a.m. Sydney time. 

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On the Net:

For more information: www.xt3.com/domus

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