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December 7, 2000


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, announces that he will convoke the Tenth Synod for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. A synod is a gathering of priests, religious and laity called by the archbishop to advise him on important matters regarding the Archdiocese. A synod, which includes broad-based consultation, cultivates the unity of the faithful and the mission of the Church.

This announcement comes as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia examines ways to build upon the spiritual and pastoral renewal begun in 1991 in preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 and the Third Millennium of Christianity.

Cardinal Bevilacqua said, "Renewal is not just another program or initiative. It is on-going, as we strive for our entire lives to ‘renew the face of the earth' through the power of the Holy Spirit. With this in mind, after consultation with my advisors and the Council of Priests, I have judged it opportune to convoke the Tenth Synod for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This will be a unique event for all of us in the Archdiocese. The last diocesan synod took place sixty-six years ago in 1934, under my predecessor Cardinal Dougherty."

"A synod is an ancient and proven instrument for fostering renewal in the life of the local Church. The final object of an archdiocesan synod is to foster communion and mission. The synod achieves this end by contributing in shaping the pastoral activities of the archdiocese through an evaluation of existing pastoral programs and a subsequent proposal of new pastoral plans. As such, the synod is a natural progression for our Archdiocese, building upon all the pastoral planning we have accomplished thus far."

The Synod will be held in the Spring of 2002, with a Year of Preparation to begin on January 8, 2001. The Great Jubilee Year, begun on December 24, 1999, was dedicated to celebrating the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Great Jubilee Year will formally end on January 7th, 2001 with the Closing of the Jubilee Doors at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

The Cardinal has directed that an Office for the Archdiocesan Synod be established and has appointed Reverend Monsignor John E. Breslin, pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Doylestown, as Director of the Office for the Archdiocesan Synod and Sister Janet Baker of the Sisters of Mercy as the Assistant Director.

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Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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