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March 3, 2000


Following is the text of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua's Lenten Pastoral which will be communicated to the faithful during the March 4-5 weekend:

Lent, 2000

This Lenten Season, occurring during the Great Jubilee Year 2000, will be a time of great and unparalleled grace for the entire Church. Christ calls out to all to come to the church and to His "embrace of love." Through prayer, sacraments and reflection on the word of God, we are strengthened in our resolve to fast, do penance and perform works of charity. Thus, we respond more fully to Christ's admonition: "Repent and believe the Good News." (Mk 1:15)

The theme for this year of our Archdiocesan Renewal presents us with a fundamental focus for our Lenten reflection: Celebrate Jesus Christ: Son of God and Son of Mary. Jesus, while remaining divine, became a man born of Mary, His Mother. He became a human being like us in all things but sin. He came to lead us on that great pilgrimage to the house of his Father whose unconditional love for each of us can be discovered anew each day, particularly during this Lenten Season. In an extraordinary way, we encounter Our Merciful Lord in the Sacrament of Penance. It is my hope that everyone, especially those who have been away for a long while, will take the opportunity to go to Confession during this sacred season.

Our Holy Father has asked that this year be profoundly Eucharistic. During this Jubilee Year, parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have scheduled Eucharistic Adoration. I encourage all of you to take advantage of the special time for private adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. These special moments of personal encounter with Christ will lead to a deeper identification with Our Lord and unite our faith and our good works in a daily response to Christ's call to holiness.

The Archdiocese will host a Eucharistic Convocation which will be held April 7, 8, 9 of this Lenten Season. This remarkable event will provide us the opportunity to reflect on Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist, as the source of strength and unity for the Catholic Church in America. I urge you to reserve this time to participate as fully as possible in the Convocation.

With prayerful best wishes for abundant blessings in this Lenten season, I remain

Sincerely in Christ,

Archbishop of Philadelphia

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Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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