U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 22 mins

Governor General to Represent Canada at the Inaugural Mass of His Holiness Pope Francis

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Mar 17, 2013) - At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will represent Canada at the Mass celebrating the inauguration of the ministry of the newly elected Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis. The ceremony will take place at St. Peter''s Square in Vatican City, Rome, on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. (Central Europe Time).

"Sharon and I are honoured to represent Canada at the Mass in honour of the election of Pope Francis," said His Excellency. "We wish His Holiness all the best as the new spiritual leader of the Catholic Church."

Their Excellencies will be accompanied by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification), the Honourable Norman E. Doyle, Senator and a delegation of Canadians representing Catholic groups and organizations.

Below is the detailed itinerary (Central Europe Time).

Monday, March 18
6 p.m.
Reception on the Occasion of the inauguration of the Pontificate of His Holiness Pope Francis
Their Excellencies will attend a reception hosted by His Excellency John Allen, Chargé d''affaires, a.i. of the Embassy of Canada to the Holy See. The Governor General will deliver remarks to women and men religious gathered on this special occasion.
Pontifico Collegio Canadese, Rome
Tuesday, March 19
9:30 a.m.
Celebrating the Inauguration of Pope Francis
Their Excellencies will represent Canada at the Mass celebrating the inauguration of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis.
St. Peter''s Square, Vatican City, Rome

Members of the public can follow the visit to the Holy See online at www.gg.ca, where photos of the Governor General will be posted.

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter.