Holy Thursday collection to rebuild Haiti's seminary

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has decided the collection taken up at his Holy Thursday evening Mass will be used to help rebuild Haiti's major seminary in Port-au-Prince. The seminary was reduced to rubble by the magnitude 7 quake that struck Jan. 12.

Each year the pope chooses where to send the collection taken up during the Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome.

Pope Benedict's decision to use the collection from the Mass April 1 to support the rebuilding effort of the Catholic Church in Haiti was announced by the Vatican March 22.

Each year the pope also asks a different person to write the meditations read during his Good Friday celebration of the Way of the Cross in Rome's Colosseum.

According to Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office, the meditations for the April 2 service were written by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, former president of the Italian bishops' conference and former vicar of Rome.

The Vatican also confirmed the pope would celebrate the usual slate of Holy Week and Easter liturgies: Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square March 28; the chrism Mass in the morning April 1 in St. Peter's Basilica; the Mass of the Lord's Supper that evening; on Good Friday, April 2, the afternoon liturgy of the Lord's Passion in St. Peter's Basilica, followed by the nighttime Way of the Cross; the Easter Vigil April 3 in St. Peter's Basilica; and Easter morning Mass April 4 in St. Peter's Square.

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