Sunday, April 20, 2008

Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport

What's Happening Today: Sunday, April 20
8-8:30 p.m. - Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
NOTE: This post will be updated as more information becomes available on this topic.

Approximately 3,250 guests will bid farewell to the Pope in Hangar 19 of JFK airport.

  • 8:00 p.m. - The Pope arrives via motorcade. Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio, bishop of Brooklyn, gives a welcome.


    • Cardinal Edward M. Egan, archbishop of New York
    • Bishop William F. Murphy, bishop of Rockville Centre
    • Bishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.
    • Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations
    • Representative of the president of the United States [VP Richard Cheney]
    • Representatives of state and local governments


    • Address by President Bush’s representative [VP Richard Cheney]
    • Farewell by Pope Benedict XVI
    • Presentation by Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio and schoolchildren
  • 8:30 p.m. - Departure via Shepherd One
The USCCB's blog reports on the Pope's departure:
Pope Benedict XVI concluded his apostolic journey to the United States this evening, departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport aboard Shepherd One at approximately 8:45 p.m. (EDT).

Pope Benedict arrived at the airport by helicopter. More than three thousand people were in attendance to bid farewell to the Holy Father. While waiting for the Holy Father to arrive, the people participated in a program of prayer and music produced by the Diocese of Brooklyn. ...

Vice President Cheney thanked the Holy Father for his visit. He said that, though the nation faces many challenges, it has innumerable blessings. He assured the Holy Father that he will always be welcome in the United States. He thanked him for his message of hope and salvation. He bid him a safe journey and asked him to pray for the United States.

Pope Benedict gave a brief address thanking U.S. Catholics for their hospitality and for their witness of faith and devotion. He thanked all those responsible for planning the visit. The Holy Father concluded his visit with these words: “I ask you to remember me in your prayers, and I assure you of my affection and friendship in the Lord. May God bless America!” The people responded with a standing ovation. .

Several children, accompanied by Bishop DiMarzio, gave the Holy Father bouquets of flowers.

Pope Benedict is scheduled to arrive in Rome late Monday morning. May God grant him a safe journey.

Text of Pope Benedict XVI's address - John Fitzgerald Kennedy International Airport (Departure Ceremony):
The time has come for me to bid farewell to your country. These days that I have spent in the United States have been blessed with many memorable experiences of American hospitality, and I wish to express my deep appreciation to all of you for your kind welcome. It has been a joy for me to witness the faith and devotion of the Catholic community here. It was heart-warming to spend time with leaders and representatives of other Christian communities and other religions, and I renew my assurances of respect and esteem to all of you. I am grateful to President Bush for kindly coming to greet me at the start of my visit, and I thank Vice-President Cheney for his presence here as I depart. The civic authorities, workers and volunteers in Washington and New York have given generously of their time and resources in order to ensure the smooth progress of my visit at every stage, and for this I express my profound thanks and appreciation to Mayor Adrian Fenty of Washington and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York.

Once again I offer prayerful good wishes to the representatives of the see of Baltimore, the first Archdiocese, and those of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville, in this jubilee year. May the Lord continue to bless you in the years ahead. To all my Brother Bishops, to Bishop DiMarzio of this Diocese of Brooklyn, and to the officers and staff of the Episcopal Conference who have contributed in so many ways to the preparation of this visit, I extend my renewed gratitude for their hard work and dedication. With great affection I greet once more the priests and religious, the deacons, the seminarians and young people, and all the faithful in the United States, and I encourage you to continue bearing joyful witness to Christ our Hope, our Risen Lord and Savior, who makes all things new and gives us life in abundance. ... (Read More)

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