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Israel Honors Cardinal O'Connor with Tree Planting for 80th Birthday

Consul General of Israel Ambassador Shmuel Sisso sent John Cardinal O'Connor birthday greetings, celebrating his 80th year. To mark the occasion, the State of Israel and the Jewish National Fund are planting trees in the Cardinal's honor in the Papal Forest in Israel. The Cardinal's birthday precedes Tu B'Shvat, the Jewish Festival of Trees, which took place on January 22, 2000.

In his greeting, Ambassador Sisso enthusiastically welcomed the upcoming March 21-26 visit of H.E. Pope John Paul II to Israel. The Pope's program, which will be conducted in accordance with the rules of protocol applicable to visits by heads of state, will include arrival and departure ceremonies, meetings with the President, Prime Minister and Chief Rabbis.

Israeli Government authorities, in cooperation with the Vatican, have been preparing for the Pope's pilgrimage to the country's Christian holy sites and his celebration of mass on the Mount of Beatitudes. The Pope will also visit the Western Wall, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, and al-Aqsa Mosque.

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