By Nieves San Martín
ROME, VATICAN CITY, MARCH 4, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is looking for initiatives that will carry the celebration of the Year of St. Paul throughout the world.
The Pauline Year, called by Benedict XVI in 2007, will run from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009, and will commemorate the second millennium of the birth of St. Paul. The Pope will inaugurate the year by presiding over the first vespers of the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo addressed his letter to the dioceses, churches, shrines, places of worship and institutes for studies and assistance that carry St. Paul’s name, or are inspired by him and his teaching.
He invited “any initiative, idea, suggestion or information that could be important for spreading the work and mission of the ‘Apostle of the People.’”
The archpriest said the basilica “is committed to offering the best welcome to those who come to pray at the tomb of the Apostle,” but that the event wouldn’t be lived only in Rome.
He recalled that the Pope called on all religious institutions that carry St. Paul’s name, or are inspired by him, to carry out initiatives “in their dioceses, sanctuaries and places of worship.”
Cardinal Montezemolo added, “It would be useful to employ the Web site annopaolino.org to communicate news of historic, cultural and religious value, as well as initiatives planned for the Jubilee Pauline Year.”
“Moved by a shared desire to celebrate the Pauline Year in the best manner possible,” he said, “we invite and appreciate the efforts of all those who wish to actively collaborate in providing every type of information and suggestion through the e-mail address [email protected].”
Cardinal Montezemolo summarized already planned initiatives of the basilica “to celebrate the life, works and example of St. Paul,” such as the pastoral program that includes daily liturgical celebrations, prayer meetings and celebrations of the sacrament of penance.
He said other activities would include catechetical instruction on letters of St. Paul’s, as well as conferences, meditations, theological reflections, musical events, guided tours of the Basilica and exhibits of Pauline art from around the world.
The archpriest said a number of publications would be available in various languages, including a guide to the basilica, a pilgrim handbook and a new printing of the Acts of the Apostles and Letters of St. Paul. He added that the Web site would also be available in various languages to inform the faithful of the events throughout the year.
Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi — the Vatican institution whose mission it is to evangelize through pastoral tourism and the ministry of pilgrimage — will oversee the pilgrimage program, said the cardinal. The program includes welcoming and assisting those who visit the basilica, and scheduling visits to other Pauline shrines in Rome or throughout the world.