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April 15, 2003


Attached is Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua's Easter Message to the people of the Archdiocese. You may quote from the statement or print it in its entirety.

Easter 2003

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As the Church commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead on this glorious and joyous day, we renew our faith in the Lord's victory over sin and death and recommit ourselves to Him, allowing that faith to shine forth more fully in every aspect of our lives.

The forty days of our Lenten penance and preparation now give way to the joy and triumph of Easter and the fifty days that follow during which the Church lives ever more intensely the glory of her Savior's resurrection. The renewal of our baptismal promises at Easter offers us the opportunity to reflect on the gift of God's life given us in this sacrament and renewed within us by each of the sacraments. The Church asks us to consider with greater devotion during these days this tremendous gift and accept more fully what this grace confers on us along with its responsibilities.

Since September 2002, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been engaged in a novena of renewal entitled, A Journey Toward Holiness. This novena is a reflection of what the Easter season asks and offers each one of us. We have been asked to reflect more deeply upon our good and merciful Lord who calls each one of us to holiness by virtue of our baptism. With our eyes fixed more intently upon our Risen Lord, I am confident that the Church can and will be renewed in holiness and purified of everything that hinders us from following Him more faithfully.

Please be assured of a special remembrance in my prayers this Easter asking the Risen Lord to grant you His blessings and Mary our Mother to watch over you always.

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Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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