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September 13, 2001


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is requesting that all 283 parishes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia honor the wishes of President George W. Bush to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance on Friday, September 14, 2001. The Cardinal is asking all pastors to consider opening their church doors for an extended period of time during the lunchtime hours to allow people the opportunity to stop in and offer prayers. Parishes will decide on an individual basis whether to offer a lunchtime Mass, prayer service, or simply a refuge for personal prayer.

At the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in center city, Mass will be offered at 7:15 a.m, 8:00 a.m, 12:05 p.m., 12:35 p.m. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place until 5:00 p.m.

Also today, Pope John Paul II assured the new United States Ambassador to the Holy See, James Nicholson of his profound participation in the grief of the American people and my heartfelt prayers for the president and the civil authorities and for all involved in the rescue operations and in helping the survivors, and in a special way for the victims and their families.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops web site ( offers a National Tragedy page that includes samples of condolences sent from all around the world, including responses by the Holy Father and the U.S. Bishops to the terrorist attacks. Included are liturgical and prayer resources, blessings for victims of crime, firefighters, police and rescue personnel. Visitors can also find information about Catholic Charities USA, which will forward donations for aid victims.

Chronology of events in Archdiocese of Philadelphia

2:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 11, 2001
: Cardinal Bevilacqua meets with the news media and requests all parishes to hold prayer services during the week and all priests to address the tragedy in their Sunday homilies. Cardinal issues statement and answers media questions. (Text of Cardinal Bevilacqua's statement available at under Archbishop Statements) Many parishes respond with services.

12:05 p.m. Wednesday, September 12, 2001: Cardinal Bevilacqua celebrates special Memorial Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia for the Living and Deceased Victims of the Terrorist attack. Approximately 3,000 people attend Mass, more people than at any other spontaneous event sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia . (Text of Cardinal Bevilacqua's homily available at under Archbishop Statements)

6:00 p.m. Thursday, September 13, 2001: Cardinal Bevilacqua participates in Interfaith Prayer Service with other religious leaders in the City of Philadelphia at Dilworth Plaza (West Side of City Hall). (Text of Cardinal Bevilacqua's Prayers for Victims and Families will be available at under Archbishop Statements on Friday, September 14, 2001)

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Cathy Rossi

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