Great Jubilee News

Overwhelming Prayer in Sistine Chapel

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 1 ( Some 7,000 journalists from 52 countries of the world
have arrived in Rome to participate in their Jubilee. They were welcomed by Archbishop John
Patrick Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Following an address by Theresa Ee-Chooi, president of the International Catholic Press Union, on
the topic, "The Church at the Dawn of the Third Millennium: A Challenge for Communicators," the
opening ceremony of this special Jubilee took place in one of the most extraordinary settings on
earth: the Sistine Chapel, with its imposing Michelangelo frescoes and masterpieces of
Renaissance painting.

Seeing the journalists' absorption in Michelangelo's Last Judgment, Archbishop Foley said: "We
come here in awe and wonder, yes -- but an awe and wonder not only at human genius and human
responsibility, but awe and wonder especially at the power of God who has created us and who
has given us creative power."

In this context, the Archbishop expressed his most profound hope. "As communicators, may our
words be always truthful, may they help people in their lives and may they help to lead them
through grace to that beauty of which these magnificent images that surround us are but pale
reflections. May our words help to lead people to that vision we call beatific -- the glorious vision
of God."

Archbishop Foley's words became an invitation to silent prayer. Humorously, some of the
journalists said that it took the Pope to convoke a Jubilee so that at last thousands of journalists
would come together to be united, specifically, in silence.

Tomorrow morning, the journalists will meet in the Audience Hall to hear addresses by Colombian
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy; and Italian
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Holy Father's right hand man in the Secretariat of State. On
Saturday, the journalists will cross the threshold of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Paul
Outside the Walls as a sign of conversion. There they will participate in an ecumenical celebration.

The highpoint of the Jubilee of Journalists will be on Sunday when, following the Mass, they will
meet John Paul II in the Vatican Audience Hall.