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Pope to Meet With Thousands of European Altar Servers

Event Is Part of International Pilgrimage to Rome Held Every 5 Years

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On August 4th, Pope Francis will meet with thousands of altar servers from all over Europe. The meeting will reflect on the theme: “Here I am: send me!” and is part of the 9th International Pilgrimage of Acolytes and Altar Servers in Rome.

The event is organized by Coetus Internationalis Ministrantium (CIM), an international organization that gathers various national and diocesan groups of acolytes and altar servers across Europe.

The pilgrimage will culminate with an audience with Pope Francis. The meeting with the Holy Father, the CIM organizers explained, “will be a moment of dialogue and prayer.” It also includes religious celebrations, as well as guided tours on historical, cultural and spiritual themes. The organizers say that the pilgrimage “is a way to strengthen the spiritual potential of children, adolescents and youth who are committed to the service at the altar.”

The International Pilgrimage to Rome is held every five years. Countries expected to send youth include: France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Serbia, Malta, and Austria. Altar servers from Germany will not be present since they held their own pilgrimage and audience with the Holy Father in August 2014. (J.A.E.)

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