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Priests Congress to swell population of Malta

More than 1100 priests from around the world are expected to travel to Malta for next week's retreat organised by the Congregation for Clergy.

Australian participants include Cardinal George Pell, who will be honoured by a special reception by Malta's Emigrants Commission and Friends of Australia Association on the eve of the Congress.

The priests will represent 90 different countries. They will be joined by at least 14 cardinals aside from Cardinal Pell, including Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. Other Vatican luminaries will include Cardinals Angelo Sodano, the Secretary of State; Crescenzio Sepe, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelisation; and Jose Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The theme of the retreat will be the role of priests in forming saints among the faithful. Malta, a tiny an island nation with a large Catholic population, was selected for the first such international retreat since 2000. Previous international retreats for priests were held at Fatima in 1996, at Yamoussoukro, Japan, in 1997; at Ivory Coast in 1998; at Guadalupe, Mexico, in 1999; and at both Jerusalem and Rome in 2000.

Over 1,000 priests expected for international retreat at Malta (Catholic World News 12/10/04)
Congress for the Clergy (Archbishop's Curia Malta 13/8/04)

Welcome to Cardinal Pell (Independent Online 5/10/04)
Emigrants' Commission
Worldwide priests' retreat set for Malta in October (Catholic World News 6/4/04)

13 Oct 2004