PRESS RELEASE: Jubilee for Priests

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Thousands of priests and seminarians gather in Rome on the occasion of the Jubilee for Priests


On Thursday, June 2nd, Pope Francis will preach a retreat to all priests. The three meditations, given in the Papal Basilicas of Rome, can be seen live throughout the world on TV and can be viewed via video streaming at



            “In the image of the Good Shepherd, the priest is a man of mercy and of compassion, close to his people and servant of all.” It is this expression of Pope Francis which will serve as the basic thread throughout the Jubilee for priests and seminarians which will be held from June 1st to the 3rd. What is truly exception about this event is that everyone around the world will be able to view live the meditations that Pope Francis will give to priests and seminarians on Thursday, June 2nd, not only on major national and international Catholic television stations, but also via video steaming on the official website of the Jubilee (

            Meanwhile, in Rome, there will be over 6,000 priests and seminarians participating in this Jubilee. This gathering, dedicated to them, opened this morning, Wednesday, June 1st, with preparations for the pilgrimage through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s. In the Jubilee churches (San Salvatore in Lauro, Santa Maria in Vallicella and San Giovanni dei Fiorentini) there were the opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration and to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After the pilgrimage, at 5:30 there will be catecheses given to the various language groups in a number of churches of Rome. Each catechesis will be followed by the celebration of Holy Mass. To deliver the catechesis to the French speaking participants gathering in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi will be the Most Reverend Vincent Dollmann, the Auxiliary Bishop of Strasbourg. For English speakers, there will be the Most Reverend Robert Barron, the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles presenting in the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle, while the Italians will be gathered in the Church of Santa Maria in Vallicella where His Eminence Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, will speak. For Polish speakers, in the Basilica of S. Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio, there will be the Most Reverend Grzegorz Rys, the Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow, and for the Portuguese speakers, in the Church of Santa Monica, there will be the Most Reverend Paulo Cezar Costa, the Auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janeiro. His Eminence José Luis Cardinal Lacunza Maestrojuán, the Bishop of David (Panamá), will be in the Basilica of XII Apostoli for the Spanish speaking priests and seminarians, while those speaking German will be with the Most Reverend Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, in the Church of San Salvatore in Lauro.

            Thursday, June 2nd will be dedicated to the retreat preached by the Holy Father in the three Papal Basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano and San Paolo Fuori le Mura. Pope Francis will speak once in each of the three Basilicas respectively at 10:00, 12:00 and at 4:00, the time at which he will begin his third and final mediation. The priests and the seminarians gathered in the three Basilicas will be able to follow the entire retreat thanks to the video connection provided by the Centro Televisivo Vaticano. These same videos will also be shown on many major Catholic television stations. In Italy the meditations will be broadcasted live on Tv2000 and Telepace. Among the many other foreign networks broadcasting the meditations live are RedeVida, Cançao Nova (Brasil), Nueva Imagen, Canal 7 (Argentina), EWTN, BCTV (USA), and TVAlicante (CETELMON-Spain). In addition, the entire retreat can be followed live by direct streaming on the Jubilee of Mercy website,, with the option of selecting the original audio in Italian or one of the simultaneous translations in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Polish.

            To conclude the retreat day in the most appropriate way, immediately after the Holy Father’s third meditation, there will be concelebrated Eucharistic celebrations in the three Basilicas and in a number of other churches located in the area of the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura for the different language groups. This will provide each participant with the opportunity to celebrate in one’s own language.

            Finally, on Friday, June 3, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Square, which will bring to closure this great Jubilee event dedicated to priests and so fittingly on the 160th anniversary of the institution of this Solemnity for the Universal Church.