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  • John Thavis

Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at youth prison

Another big surprise from Pope Francis this morning: he’ll celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a Rome prison for minors, and presumably will wash the feet of 12 young inmates during the liturgy.

Traditionally, popes have celebrated this Mass, which commemorates the Last Supper, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran or St. Peter’s Basilica. As a cardinal in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis would typically celebrate the liturgy in prisons, hospitals or homes for the poor.

The pope will go to the “Castel del Marmo” Penal Institute for Minors on the outskirts of Rome for the evening Mass, where young men and women under the age of 21 are serving time.

The institute trains young inmates for employment in such areas as carpentry, tailoring and cooking, as well as a variety of artistic and technical sectors.

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