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A pilgrim form Ecuador holds her country's flag on Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, at the World Youth Day opening Mass in 2013 (CNS)Pope Francis will visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July

The Vatican has revealed the details of Pope Francis’s upcoming three-nation tour of South America that will take place from July 5 to 12.

The Pope will begin his visit in Ecuador before moving on to Bolivia and Paraguay, the Vatican announced on May 8 when it published a detailed tour itinerary.

Although local Jesuit communities have enjoyed Pope Francis’s special attention on several of the seven foreign trips he already has made as Pope, the South American trip is the first time the Vatican has listed the encounter on the official schedule. He will have lunch on July 6 with the Jesuit community at Colegio Javier in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The next evening, he will pay a “private visit” to Quito’s Church of the Society of Jesus, known as “La Compania, ” a jewel of Spanish Baroque architecture. The first Jesuits reached Ecuador in 1574, just 34 years after the society was founded by St Ignatius of Loyola. Work on the church in Quito began in 1605.

Pope Francis will spend less than four hours in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz. Vatican sources said the city’s high elevation made it advisable for him to visit only briefly. The same evening he arrives in Bolivia, on July 8, he will fly on to Santa Cruz after the welcoming ceremony for a visit with the president and a meeting with civil authorities.

Pope Francis will have the official welcoming ceremonies and private visits with the presidents of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay as dictated by protocol; in addition, the Pope will meet “civil society” leaders in Ecuador, government officials in Bolivia and members of the diplomatic corps in Paraguay.

But the heart of the visit is expected to be his public Masses and the time he spends with people often on the margins of society. On July 8, he will visit a home for the aged run by the Missionaries of Charity in Quito; in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, he will address participants in the second World Meeting of Popular Movements, a group of grass-roots activists, and will visit a prison; and in Asuncion, Paraguay, he will visit both a pediatric hospital and the residents of one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods, Banado Norte.

Full schedule of the Pope’s South America visit (local times):

Sunday, July 5 (Rome, Quito)

— 9am Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

— 3pm Arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito. Speech by pope.

Monday, July 6 (Quito, Guayaquil, Quito)

— 9am Departure by airplane from Quito for Guayaquil.

— 11.15am Mass outside the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Guayaquil. Homily by pope.

— 2pm Lunch at Colegio Javier with the Jesuit community and members of the papal entourage.

— 5.10pm Departure by plane for Quito.

— 6pm Arrival in Quito.

— 7pm Courtesy visit to the President Rafael Correa at Carondelet Palace.

— 8.10pm Visit to the Quito cathedral. Greeting by pope.

Tuesday, July 7 (Quito)

— 9am Meeting with the Ecuadorean bishops in the convention center at Bicentennial Park.

— 10.30am Mass in Bicentennial Park. Homily by pope.

— 4.30pm Meeting with representatives of schools and universities at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. Speech by pope.

— 6pm Meeting with representatives of civil society in the Church of St. Francis. Speech by pope.

— 7.15pm Private visit to the Church of the Society of Jesus.

Wednesday, July 8 (Quito, La Paz, Santa Cruz)

— 9.30am Visit to a home for the aged run by the Missionaries of Charity.

— 10.30am Meeting with clergy, religious men and women, and seminarians at the El Quinche National Marian Shrine. Speech by pope.

— Noon Departure by airplane from Quito to La Paz, Bolivia.

— 4.15pm Arrival at El Alto International Airport in La Paz. Arrival ceremony. Speech by pope.

— 6pm Courtesy visit to President Evo Morales in the Palace of Government.

— 7pm Meeting with civil authorities in the La Paz cathedral. Speech by pope.

— 8pm Departure by airplane for Santa Cruz.

— 9.15pm Arrival at the Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz.

Thursday, July 9 (Santa Cruz)

— 10am Mass in Christ the Redeemer Square. Homily by pope.

— 4pm Meeting with priests, religious men and women, and seminarians in the Don Bosco school. Speech by pope.

— 5.30pm Participation in the second World Meeting of Popular Movements at the exposition grounds. Speech by pope.

Source: www.catholicherald.co.uk
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