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September 12, 2002


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia,will celebrate the Opening Mass of the Tenth Archdiocesan Synod, an historic event for the Archdiocese and for parishioners of 282 parishes. The Synod will bring together priests, deacons, members of religious orders and lay persons to consider prayerfully and seriously the current state of the Church's life in order to create a vision and plan for the future. In diocesan Synods prior to Vatican II, only the clergy participated. Dennis Cardinal Dougherty convened the last Synod in 1934. In the Tenth Archdiocesan Synod, more than half of the 242 Synod members are lay persons (135). The membership also includes five auxiliary bishops, 70 priests, eight deacons and 24 members of religious orders.

Opening Mass
Sunday, September 15, 2002
2:30 p.m.
Approximately 1500 Expected to Attend
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

Synod Sessions: Drexelbrook Conference Center
Drexelbrook Road and Valley Drive
Drexel Hill, Delaware County

September 20-21, 2002
1. Spirituality, Call To Holiness
2.Roles of Service in the Church and in the World
(Role of the Laity, Role of the Religious, Role of the Clergy)
3.Marriage and the Family

October 18-19, 2002
4.Youth and Young Adults
5.Catholic Education of Youth
6.Adult Faith Formation

November 15-16, 2002
7.Moral and Social Issues

Closing Mass
Sunday, December 8, 2002
2:30 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul


Cardinal Bevilacqua called for a Synod in December 2000 to hear the voice of lay persons, clergy and members of religious orders on a wide variety of issues. During the first consultative phase in fall 2001, the Cardinal invited all Catholics in the Archdiocese to give voice to their needs, hopes and desires for the faith through written descriptions. Based upon the responses, a General Preparatory Commission recommended topics to the Cardinal. After the Cardinal selected the topics, open meetings on the topics took place throughout the five counties of the Archdiocese during spring 2002. Study commissions then formulated proposals on each topic and sent them to Synod members. The proposals will be put before the members of the Synod for their input. Synod members will offer their recommendations to Cardinal Bevilacqua, who will consider the acceptance, modification or non-acceptance of the Synodal recommendations.

Editor's Note: Synod sessions are closed to the public and to the media, however there will be a photo and media opportunity during each Saturday session between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. If you are interested in an interview with Cardinal Bevilacqua and with Synod members on one of the Saturdays please contact the Office for Communications at 215-587-3747.

Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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