Pope to travel to DRC and South Sudan in early 2023

The Holy See Press Office announces that Pope Francis will travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan for an ecumenical peace pilgrimage from 31 January to 5 February 2023, journeys postponed in the past due to health reasons.

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis will travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to South Sudan from 31 January to 5 February 2023. His visit had originally been scheduled for the summer of 2022, but had to be postponed due to health issues.

The Apostolic Journey was announced in a statement from the Director of the Holy See Press Office: “Accepting the invitation of their respective Heads of State and Bishops, His Holiness Pope Francis will make the announced Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo from 31 January to 3 February 2023, visiting the city of Kinshasa, and, together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Peace to Juba, South Sudan, from 3 to 5 February next.”

Highlights of the Pope’s Apostolic Journey will include a visit with victims from the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and in South Sudan, a meeting with internally displaced persons, and an Ecumenical Prayer service. 

With the formal announcement of the Pope’s visit, the Holy See Press Office released the following schedule for the Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan (Ecumenical Peace Pilgrimage to South Sudan):

Democratic Republic of the Congo


Tuesday, 31 January 2023
ROME – KINSHASA

07:55 Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino International Airport to Kinshasa     

15:00 Arrival at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport      

15:00 OFFICIAL WELCOME  

16:30 WELCOME CEREMONY at the “Palais de la Nation” 

16:45 COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the “Salle Présidentielle” of the “Palais de la Nation”  

17:30 MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the “Palais de la Nation” 
 

Wednesday, 1 February 2023
KINSHASA

09:30 HOLY MASS at “Ndolo” Airport

16:30 MEETING WITH VICTIMS FROM THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY at the Apostolic Nunciature  

18:30 MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM SOME CHARITIES at the Apostolic Nunciature 
 

Thursday, 2 February 2023
KINSHASA

09:30 MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND CATECHISTS in Martyrs’ Stadium

16:30 PRAYER MEETING WITH PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral “Notre Dame du Congo”

18:30 PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature 
 

Friday, 3 February 2023
KINSHASA – JUBA

08:30 MEETING WITH BISHOPS at CENCO

10:10 FAREWELL CEREMONY at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport    

10:40 Departure by airplane from Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport to Juba

South Sudan


The Holy Father is making the Journey to South Sudan together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland    
  

15:00 Arrival at Juba International Airport

15:00 WELCOME CEREMONY          

15:45 COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC at the Presidential Palace  

16:15 MEETING WITH THE VICE-PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC    

17:00 MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the Presidential Palace
 

Saturday, 4 February 2023
JUBA

09:00 MEETING WITH BISHOPS, PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral of Saint Therese

11:00 PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature         

16:30 MEETING WITH INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS in the “Freedom Hall”

18:00 ECUMENICAL PRAYER at “John Garang” Mausoleum
 

Sunday, 5 February 2023
JUBA – ROME

08:45 HOLY MASS  at “John Garang” Mausoleum

11:00 FAREWELL CEREMONY at Juba International Airport           

11:30 Departure by airplane from Juba International Airport to Rome     

17:30 Arrival at Rome Fiumicino International Airport