SUITCASES are being packed in the Vatican in preparation for Pope John Paul II's trip to Angola, which starts at the beginning of next month.
The Pope will spend a week in the former Portuguese colony meeting with church workers, the sick and the young, and the country's civil authorities. The tour takes place between June 410.
A detailed itinerary of the papal journey issued by the Vatican this week includes a daytrip to the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, where he will celebrate Mass at the Our Lady of Grace Cathedral and greet the island's small Moslem community. A meeting with Sao Tome's President Miguel Trovoada is also planned.
In Angola John Paul will travel to six cities, deliver 15 talks and lead seven liturgical ceremonies. His first official meeting will be at the presidential palace with the country's leader, Eduardo dos Santos, who has announced democratic elections this autumn after years of civil
The Pope will return to the capital city of Luanda each night, and on June 7 will participate in a full day of activities there including a seaside Mass. a meeting with the bishops, an evening youth rally and an ecumenical ceremony.
During his stay the Pope will visit the sick in a wing of the capital's Maria Pia Central Hospital, and attend an ecumenical meeting at Luanda's seminary, where he is expected to deliver an address. At Luanda's national stadium he will talk with Angolan youths.
Before leaving Angola John Paul, who will already have met Angola's hierarchy in Luanda, will open the second meeting in Africa of the permanent council for the preparation of the African Synod in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace in Luanda.
The papal visit to Angola will be Pope John Paul's 55th outside Italy since his pontificate began.
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