Buona Domenica a Tutti!

Well it's not been officially announced yet, but I figured this was sure enough to post. Next year, 2008, the United States can expect an east-coast visit from His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. Here's the scoop:

"Currently slated to take place from 15-20 April 2008, the Tuesday-to-Sunday visit's official centerpiece will be a papal speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York - the prime cause for the US tour, which sprung from the pontiff's invitation to the UN headquarters by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Among other events in the Big Apple, the Pope is also slated to celebrate Mass at Central Park alongside, of course, an address and prayers in St Patrick's Cathedral and moment of reflection at Ground Zero.

Alongside the "capital of the world," what could well be Benedict's only on-ground exposure to America and its 70 million Catholics looks set to be concentrated strictly to the East Coast. Though another stop or two remain a distinct possibility - with Baltimore the most likely addition - also already confirmed on the papal itinerary are Washington and Boston. The latter's coveted place on the schedule represents a marked victory for Cardinal Sean O'Malley, whose invitation to the pontiff was said to have been initially declined, then accepted only after a firm push by the Capuchin cardinal, who's believed to enjoy a particularly high standing in B16's eyes.

Touching down in Washington, where the professor-Pope is said to be especially eager to see the campus of the Catholic University of America, Benedict will grant the trip's first hosting honors to another of his highly favored ones -- his most-prominent US appointee yet, Archbishop Donald Wuerl. Beyond the requisite meeting with President Bush at the White House and the other formalities of a head of state paying an official visit to the capital, a Mass on the National Mall is reportedly in the early plans." (Whispers in the Loggia, Sept. 15, 2007)

So there you have it. Be happy - this is a big moment in the life of the Catholic Church in America and throughout the world!