120 days to go until Pope Benedict XVI visits England and Scotland

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Visit thepapalvisit.org.uk to tune in for the second audio update with the Papal Visit Co-ordinator Mgr Andrew Summersgill. This week Mgr Summersgill talks about the finalised plans for the Papal Visit missal.

Father Andrew what can you tell us this week, what’s new?

Mgr Andrew Summersgill: What’s new? Well, certainly one new thing is that we have now finalised the plans for the missal for the Papal Visit. Our intention all the way along has been to provide a missal which people could use to accompany the Visit. Either those who will be following it at home on television or being streamed on the Internet on the website, or those who are able to attend the Papal events during the Visit and who receive an invitation to do so. This is all part of us trying to make Pope Benedict’s presence here in the United Kingdom as available as possible to many people. So we’ve been working and discussing with three Catholic publishers. That would be Magnificat, Gabriel Communications and CTS, the Catholic Truth Society, and we’re in a position now to go ahead to produce the missal. And it will include prayer, it will include the Liturgy of the Hours and the Liturgy for the Eucharist leading up to the Visit and the week after the Visit. And then, during the Pope’s Visit itself, it will include the Liturgies that the Holy Father will celebrate and some information and details about what the Pope is doing and why he is where he is. Just to try to bring everybody together with the Pope for the time that he is here.

Do we have a publication date for that?

Mgr AS: We don’t have a firm publication date yet, but the plan would be that copies of the missal would be distributed around the parishes around about two weeks before Pope Benedict arrives, so that people have them in time for the week before the Visit. That’s what we’re working on at the minute. It’s quite a detailed logistical operation to be able to produce enough copies for the majority of people who will be going to Papal gatherings, but also so that there is one around for every family so that it can be followed. So it’s quite a detailed and complex operation.

Any update on the ‘Virtual Visit’? You’ve just talked about sharing the experience.

Mgr AS: Yes there is. We’re looking quite closely now at the mechanisms and the apparatus for streaming Pope Benedict’s Visit while he is here on the website. I have to confess I don’t understand this at all but I have seen what is possible and it looks very good to me, so I’m really hopeful that we’re going in the right direction with that now as well.


Photos from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Portugal:


Credit: M.Mazur/www.thepapalvisit.org.uk