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Australia sends Silver Jubilee prayers to Pope

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll has sent the best wishes of Australia's Catholics to Pope John Paul II on the 25th anniversary of his Pontificate.

Archbishop Carroll said the milestone was an extraordinary achievement for the 83-year-old Pope, who is the fourth longest-serving pontiff in history.

"On behalf of the Catholic people of Australia, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference sends its greetings and prayerful support to the Pope on this wonderful occasion," Archbishop Carroll said.

He was speaking from Rome, where, along with other senior Australian bishops, he is joining in the silver jubilee celebrations.

The weeklong celebration will include a Mass, a concert in the Pope's honour, as well as lunch with the College of Cardinals and heads of Bishops' Conferences.

The celebration will conclude with the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta on World Mission Sunday. It will be followed by the consistory in which the Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell will be elevated to the College of Cardinals on October 21.

Each diocese in Australia will mark the Pope's Silver Jubilee in its own way, with many bishops and priests planning special Masses today. The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Francesco Canalini will celebrate the 5.30pm Mass at Canberra's St Christopher's Cathedral.

"I've also suggested the praying of the Rosary, given the Pope's particular devotion to it," Archbishop Carroll said.

"I extend an invitation to everybody to pray in thanksgiving and gratitude for the Pope's extraordinary leadership of the Church and for blessings on His Holiness on this momentous occasion."

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

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16 Oct 2003