Swiss President Alain Berset is pictured in Switzerland April 26. Pope Francis will meet him prior to the start of the ecumenical encounter at the World Council of Churches June 21. (CNS photo/Peter Klaunzer, EPA)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — During his one-day visit to Geneva, Pope Francis will highlight the importance of Christians praying and working together on their ecumenical journey.

He will visit the ecumenical center of the World Council of Churches, where he will be part of an ecumenical prayer service and meeting June 21. The pope will also meet privately with the president of the Swiss confederation and celebrate Mass with the local Catholic community.


The papal visit is part of celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches — a fellowship of Christian communities and churches, seeking visible unity among Christians.

The Vatican released the pope’s schedule, the pope’s 23rd trip abroad, May 7.

Here is the schedule released by the Vatican. Times listed are local, with Eastern Daylight Time in parenthesis. As of May 7, the Vatican had not provided specific times for some events.

Thursday, June 21 (Rome, Geneva, Rome)

— 8:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m.) Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

— 10:10 a.m. (4:10 a.m.) Arrival at Geneva’s international airport. Welcoming ceremony. Private meeting at the airport with Alain Berset, president of the Swiss confederation.

— 11:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m.) Ecumenical prayer at the World Council of Churches’ ecumenical center. Homily by pope.

— Lunch with the WCC leadership at the council’s Ecumenical Institute at Bossey.

— 3:45 p.m. (9:45 a.m.) Ecumenical encounter at the WCC’s ecumenical center. Speech by pope.

— Mass at Geneva’s Palexpo convention center. Homily by pope.

— Departure ceremony at the airport.

— 8 p.m. (2 p.m.) Departure by plane for Rome.

— 9:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m.) Arrival at Rome’s Ciampino airport.