VATICAN (CWN) -- The Vatican today made public a preliminary schedule for the trip by Pope John Paul II to Nigeria in March.

      The Pope will arrive at the airport in Abuja on Saturday afternoon, March 21, and conclude the day with a courtesy call on the Nigerian head of state, General Sani Abacha. The following day he will preside at the beatification of Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi in Onitsha, in the east of the country, and remain there to pray the Angelus at midday. Then he will return to Abuja for a meeting with Islamic leaders.

      On Monday, March 23, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in Abuja and meet with the country's bishops there before leaving for Rome in the afternoon.

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February 26, 1998 volume 9, no. 41         DAILY CATHOLIC