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November 4, 2003


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will preside at the dedication service of the new dual-purpose Archdiocese of Philadelphia facility in the Kensington section of Philadelphia: Visitation Homes and the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center. Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop Emeritus, will also be present.

This dedication marks the completion of the first major project initiated by the Archdiocesan Office for Community Development, established by Cardinal Bevilacqua in 2001. The two facilities, adjacent to Visitation B.V.M. Parish, have already transformed the immediate area. The services provided through Catholic Social Services will offer tremendous resources for the entire local community. This $5.2 million project was funded through Catholic Charities, private grants and foundations and a combination of federal, state and local sources.

Saturday, November 8, 2003
11:00 a.m.
Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center Gymnasium
Kensington and Lehigh Avenues
(adjacent to Visitation B.V.M. Parish)

Visitation Homes is a transitional housing facility for women and children who are homeless. It is designed to accommodate eighteen families, the first of whom moved into the facility in September 2003. During their stay, the mothers will be working toward securing permanent housing for their families. Visitation Homes is operated by Catholic Social Services Division of Housing and Homeless Services, which marked its 40th anniversary in October 2003.

Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center is designed to provide recreational, educational and social services programs for the community. It has a full-size gym and three floors of multi-purpose rooms. The center will be managed by Catholic Social Services Family Services Division and the programs will be developed in partnership with Visitation B.V.M. Parish and an advisory board of local residents. The name of the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center was unanimously adopted by the Boards of Directors of Catholic Social Services and of the Office for Community Development to represent the commitment of its namesake to this community.

During the dedication, Cardinal Rigali will bless the gymnasium with holy water while other priests bless additional areas of the two facilities. A Spanish choir will perform and readings will take place in Spanish, Vietnamese and English, the languages of this diverse community. A reception will follow. There will also be tours of both facilities and of a Garden for the Soul that was planted through the efforts of the University of Notre Dame Club of Philadelphia, community leaders and the Office for Community Development.

Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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