Pope Francis will make a one-day trip to Albania in September, during which he is slated to meet with local authorities, priests and religious as well as children from charitable institutions. The Pope’s visit was announced earlier this summer for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. It marks the second time a Roman Pontiff will visit the country, the first being Pope Saint John Paul II in 1993. Upon his arrival to the Albanian capital of Tirana’s international “Mother Teresa” airport, Pope Francis will be greeted by the country’s Prime Minister Edi Rama. After the initial welcome ceremony and greeting, the pontiff will travel to the presidential palace where he will pay a courtesy visit to Albania’s president, Bujar Nishani. He will then meet with and give an address to representatives of the local civil authorities. Pope Francis will then offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Mother Teresa Square, followed by the Angelus and then lunch with the bishops of Albania at the Apostolic Nunciature. In the afternoon, Pope Francis will meet with leaders of other religions and other Christian denominations in the afternoon at the Catholic university “Our Lady of Good Council.” He will then celebrate vespers that evening in the Cathedral of St. Paul with priests, religious brothers and sisters, seminarians and members of different lay movements from the diocese. Afterward the Roman Pontiff will meet with children from the “Centro Betania,” or “Bethany Center,” and representatives from other charitable institutions as a final event to his busy day. The Pope will then participate in a farewell ceremony before departing Tirana’s international “Mother Teresa” airport and returning to Rome. Please see below for the Pope’s full schedule: Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014 7:30a.m. Depart by plane from Rome's Fiumicino airport for Tirana 9:00a.m. Arrive at the International "Mother Theresa" airport of Tirana; official welcome by Prime Minister Edi Rama 9:30a.m. Welcome ceremony in the square of the presidential palace and courtesy visit to the president of the republic in the Green Room of the presidential palace 10:00a.m. Encounter with civil authorities in the reception room of the presidential palace 11:00a.m. Holy Mass in Mother Theresa Square, where the Pope will give a homily and pray the traditional Angelus prayer 1:30p.m. Encounter and lunch with Albanian bishops and with the papal entourage at the Apostolic Nunciature 4:00p.m. Encounter with leaders of other faiths and Christian denominations in the Catholic University "Our Lady of Good Council" 5:00p.m. Celebration of Vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and lay movements in the Tirana cathedral 6:30p.m. Encounter with children from the Bethany Center and representatives from other charitable institutions of Albania 7:45p.m. Farewell ceremony at Tirana's International "Mother Theresa" airport 8:00p.m. Departure from Tirana by plane to Rome's Ciampino airport 9:30p.m. Arrive to Rome's Ciampino airport
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