POPE FRANCIS DEPARTS FOR WYD IN PANAMA – EN ROUTE TO PANAMA, FRANCIS PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE JOURNALIST – PAPAL AGENDA IN PANAMA

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POPE FRANCIS DEPARTS FOR WYD IN PANAMA

Pope Francis departed Wednesday for Panama where he will participate in the events of the 34th World Youth Day. This marks the Pope’s first journey in 2019.

The Pope departed on an Alitalia flight from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 9.51am (local) and is scheduled to land in Panama at around 10:30 p.m. Italian time. Upon arrival at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport, the Pope will go directly to the Apostolic Nunciature, where he will stay for the duration of the visit.

His journey will get underway in earnest on Thursday with an official welcome at the Presidential Palace and a meeting with authorities and diplomats. Later in the day, Pope Francis will meet with Bishops from Central America. The highlight of Thursday, however, will be the opening of the World Youth Day ceremony at the Coastal Belt at 17.30 local time.

In a tweet before his departure the Pope said, “I am leaving for the World Youth Day in Panama. I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church.”

The theme for World Youth Day 2019 is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

EN ROUTE TO PANAMA, FRANCIS PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE JOURNALIST

Exchanging words of greeting with journalists aboard the papal flight to Panama, Pope Francis remembered Russian journalist, Alexej Bukalov, who died last December.
By Andrea Tornielli (vaticannews)

“A man of great humanity” able to provide a synthesis with the style of Dostoevsky: Pope Francis was visibly moved when speaking these words after greeting journalists on the plane to Panama. He was remembering Alexej Bukalov, Rome correspondent of the TASS news agency and veteran journalist of papal flights. Bukalov, who followed papal journeys right up until the most recent one, passed away on 28 December last, aged 78.

After thanking the journalists who will be reporting on his activities and words in the next few days in Panama, for the intense work they will be carrying out, the Pope said with audible emotion: “This is the first flight in which a colleague of yours, Alexei Bukalov of TASS news agency, to whom I was very close, is missing.”

“He was a man, Francis added, of great humanity. A kind of humanity that is not afraid of plumbing the lowest depths of human nature, and of ascending to the Divine. A man capable of providing a synthesis in the style of Dostoevsky.”

The Pope then asked everyone to observe a moment of silence in memory of the Russian journalist and concluded with the Lord’s prayer. The journalists reacted to the Pope’s tribute to their colleague with a round of warm applause.

Before the papal greeting, papal trip organizer, Monsignor Mauricio Rueda Belz, introduced Alessandro Gisotti, the “ad interim” Holy See Press Office Director, on his first papal journey in this role.

PAPAL AGENDA IN PANAMA

Pope Francis is in Panama from January 23 to 27, for the 34th World Youth Day that started on January 22nd.
Pope Francis’ schedule in Panama:

Wednesday, 23 January 2019
ROME-PANAMA
9:35 Departure by air from Rome/Fiumicino for Panama
16:30 Arrival at Tocumen International Airport in Panama
Official welcome
16:50 Transfer to the Apostolic Nunciature

Thursday, 24 January 2019
PANAMA
9:45 Welcome ceremony at the main entrance of Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic
Courtesy visit to the President of the Republic in Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic
10:40 Meeting with the Authorities, with the Diplomatic Corps and with Representatives of Society in Palacio Bolivar – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11:15 Meeting with Central American Bishops in the Church of San Francisco de Asis
17:30 Welcome ceremony and opening of WYD at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

Friday, 25 January 2019
PANAMA
10:30 Penitential liturgy with young detainees in the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores Las Garzas de Pacora
11:50 Transfer by helicopter to the Apostolic Nunciature
17:30 Via Crucis with young people at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

Saturday, 26 January 2019
PANAMA
9:15 Holy Mass with the dedication of the altar of the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria la Antigua with priests, consecrated persons and lay movements
12:15 Lunch with young people in the San José Major Seminary
18:30 Vigil with young people at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park

Sunday, 27 January 2019
PANAMA-ROME
8:00 Holy Mass for World Youth Day at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park
10:45 Visit to the Casa Hogar del Buen Samaritano
Angelus
16:30 Meeting with the WYD volunteers in the Rommel Fernandez Stadium
18:00 Farewell ceremony at Panama International Airport
18:15 Departure by air for Rome

Monday, 28 January 2019
PANAMA-ROME
11:50 Arrival at Rome-Ciampino International Airport