The Holy See Press Office confirmed media reports on the first Spiritual Exercises that Pope Francis will participate in along with the heads of several dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
A report by Spanish news agency COPE stated that the Spiritual Exercises will take place from March 9th – 14th, 2014 at the Casa Divin Maestro located in the neighborhood of Albano, outside of Rome.
The retreat will be preached by a priest of the Diocese of Rome, Monsignor Angelo De Donatis, who after a period of pastoral activity served as Spiritual Director of the Roman Seminary.
Addressing the news reports on the retreat, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, Co-Director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed the reports, saying that “only the heads of the dicasteries are invited to these spiritual exercises.”
Regarding the choice of holding the retreat outside of the Vatican, Fr. Ciro said: “The Jesuits have always suggested that Spiritual Exercises do not need to take place where one lives, and the Holy Father has done so.”