VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2003 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, left today for a four-day visit to Kazakhstan following an invitation by Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of the Republic, and other officials. The purpose of the trip is to commemorate the apostolic pilgrimage that the Holy Father made to Astana, the country's capital, in 2001.
Tomorrow, Saturday May 17, the cardinal secretary of State will make an official visit to the president, celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of Astana and will meet with priests, religious and other members of the capital's Catholic community. In addition, he is scheduled to visit an Orthodox church and a mosque.
On Sunday May 18 in the city of Karaganda, Cardinal Sodano will preside at a solemn Eucharistic celebration. He will also bless the first stone of the new Cathedral and will visit a seminary dedicated to "Mary Queen of the Church."
The cardinal secretary of State is scheduled to celebrate Mass in Karaganda on Monday May 19 and to meet with priests and religious who work in the diocese. Before his departure for Rome, he will visit a Greek Catholic Church and a monastery of Discalced Carmelites.
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