Apostolic Journey to Cameroon and Angola, 17-23 March 2009
Pope Benedict XVI

In-flight interview
On Tuesday, 17 March [2009], during the flight to Yaoundé, Cameroon, on his first Apostolic Visit to Africa, the Holy Father answered the questions of six of the journalists on the papal flight.

Yaoundé, Nsimalen International Airport: Welcome Ceremony
On Tuesday, 17 March 2009, the Holy Father arrived at Nsimalen Internation Airport of Yaound
é, Cameroon, where he greeted President Paul Biya and civil authorities, as well as Cardinal Christian Tumi, Archbishop Tonyé Bakot, and all Bishops present. Recalling how Christ commissioned Peter to strengthen his brothers, the Pope has come strengthen his brothers in Africa.

Yaoundé, Christ-Roi Church: Meeting with the Bishops of Cameroon
On Wednesday, 18 March 2009, the Holy Father met with the Bishops of Cameroon at the Church of Christ-Roi in Tsinga - Yaoundé. The Pope spoke of the "urgent need to proclaim the Gospel to everyone," encouraging the Bishops to maintain close communion with one another, and to see to the proper formation of candidates for the priesthood.

Yaoundé, Basilica Marie Reine des Apôtres: Vespers Celebration
On Wednesday evening, 18 March 2009, the Holy Father celebrated Vespers at the Basilica of Marie Reine des Apôtres in Mvolyé, Yaoundé, Cameroon. In his address, the Pope spoke on fatherhood, evoking the example of St. Joseph, who, though not the biological father of Christ, suffered persecution, exile, and poverty for the sake of his Son.

Yaoundé, Apostolic Nunciature: Meeting with Representatives of Cameroon's Muslim Community
On Thursday, 19 March 2009, the Holy Father met with representatives of the Muslim Community of Cameroon at the Apostolic Nunciature of Yaoundé. The Pope expressed his conviction that it is an urgent task of religion today to "unveil the vast potential of human reason."

Yaoundé, Amadou Ahidjo Stadium: Holy Mass
On Thursday, 19 March 2009, the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Holy Father celebrated Holy Mass at Amadou Ahidjo Stadium, on the occasion of the publication of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops . The Pope warned that only God can give strength to the family, against the tyranny of materialism, which deceives the people with selfish illusions and false ideals.

Presentation of the Instrumentum Laboris
Following the Mass at the Amadou Ahidjo Stadium, 19 March 2009, the Holy Father published the Instrumentum Laboris with these words.

Yaoundé, Cardinal Léger national Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled: Meeting with the Sick
Thursday afternoon, 19 March 2009, the Holy Father met with the sick and suffering at the Cardinal Paul Emile Léger Centre - CNRH of Yaoundé. In his address, the Pope spoke of Simon of Cyrene, an African, suggesting that every African who suffers belongs to the family of Simon, helping Christ to carry His Cross, in the hope that they may one day rise with Him.

Yaoundé, Apostolic Nunciature: Meeting with the Special Council of the Synod for Africa
On Thursday evening, 19 March 2008, the Holy Father met with members of the Special Council for Africa of the Synod of Bishops at the Apostolic Nunciature of Yaoundé. In his address, the Pope first summarized the history of Christianity in Africa, then suggested some reflections on the theme of the upcoming Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, viz., reconciliation, justice and peace.

Yaoundé, Nsimalen International Airport: Farewell Ceremony
On Friday morning, 20 March 2009, the Holy Father bade farewell to Cameroon at the Nsimalen International Airport of Yaoundé. The Pope recalled highlights of his visit, invoking God's blessing on Cameroon as "Africa in miniature."

Luanda, 4 de Fevereiro International Airport: Welcome Ceremony
On Friday morning, 20 March 2009, the Holy Father arrived at 4 de Fevereiro International Airport of Luanda, where he greeted President José Eduardo dos Santos, other civil and military authorities, and his brother Bishops.

Luanda, Presidential Palace: Meeting with Political, Civil Authorities and with Diplomatic Corps
On Friday afternoon, 20 March 2009, the Holy Father visited the President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, at the presidential palace in  Luanda. The Pope delivered an address to political leaders and the diplomatic corps, reminding them that Africa's development is not primarily a matter of programs and protocols, but of "conversion of hearts to sincere solidarity."

Luanda, Apostolic Nunciature: Meeting with the Bishops of Angola and São Tomé
On Friday evening, 20 March [2009], following Archbishop Franklin's welcome speech, the Holy Father spoke to the Bishops of Angola and of São Tomé in the Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature in Luanda, where he later dined with the Bishops and his entourage.

Luanda, St Paul's Church: Mass
On Saturday morning, 21 March 2009, at the church of São Paolo in Luanda, Pope Benedict XVI gave the following homily, speaking of the patron of the church and the city, St. Paul the Apostle.

Luanda, Stadio dos Coqueiros: Meeting with Young People
On the afternoon of Saturday 21 March 2009, Pope Benedict addressed the youth of Angola at the stadium of the Coconut Palms (Dos Coqueiros), speaking of the newness of life in Christ, the seed of divine life they have been given and are called to sow, and even of their doubts.

Luanda, Cimangola Square: Homily at Mass with the Bishops of IMBISA
On Sunday morning, 22 March 2009, the Holy Father celebrated the Mass with the Bishops of the "Inter-regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa" (IMBISA), giving the homily. Following the Mass he lead them in the Angelus and gave a brief discourse.

Luanda, Parish of Saint Anthony: Meeting with Catholic Movements for the Promotion of Women
On Sunday afternoon, 22 March 2009, at the Parish of Santo António, the Holy Father met with the members of movements who work for the welfare of women. Speaking of the role of women in society, in marriage and family life, he called for the promotion of the dignity of women.

Luanda, 4 de Fevereiro International Airport: Farewell Ceremony
On Monday morning, 23 March 2009, at the conclusion of his apostolic journey to Cameroon and Angola, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the civil and ecclesiastical dignitaries gathered at the airport in Luanda for a departure ceremony. thanking them for the courtesy which he was shown, and appealing to them to provide for the fundamental goods of the neediest of society. 


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