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March 21, 2005


The Freedom Parade" will inaugurate the 102nd Annual National Catholic Educational Association Convention in Philadelphia, March 29th through April 1st. The parade features more than 5,000 students from Catholic high schools, elementary schools and special education schools. A 600-member chorus, cheerleaders, marching bands and a red, white and blue flashlight brigade will provide lively entertainment.

MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2005
7:00 P.M.

The Freedom Parade proceeds south on 17th Street to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It continues west on the Parkway, around the left side of Logan Circle and out the Parkway to the Franklin Institute.

Marching bands in the line-up are: Cardinal O'Hara High School, Archbishop Ryan High School, St. Helena School Marching Band (elementary), Archbishop Wood High School, Interparochial Marching Band from Chester County, Archbishop Carroll High School, Bishop McDevitt High School and Father Judge High School.

More than 15,000 delegates and exhibitors are expected to attend the 102nd annual Convention and Exposition of the National Catholic Educational Association in Philadelphia. Most of the sessions will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will signal the start of a second century of service to Catholic education. The theme is, "We the People: Proclaiming Faith and Freedom."


On the steps of the Franklin Institute (A mult-box will be available)

Welcome: Mr. George Sharretts, Director of General Services for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

National Anthem: Played by the marching bands and sung by the 600 member Freedom Parade Singers

Opening Remarks: Bishop Robert P. Maginnis, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and grand marshal of the parade

Tsunami Check Presentation: A student from West Catholic High School, Baraka Bitariho, will make a presentation of a check to Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, representing monies collected by the students of the 21 Archdiocesan High Schools. The donation will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services, the official international relief and development agency of the Unites States Catholic community.
There will also be an acknowledgement for Tsunami contributions of elementary schools and special education schools. (This donation has already been sent to the relief effort).

Song welcoming the 15,000 delegates to the NCEA Convention: Chorus will sing the song "The Freedom to Dream," written especially for the Freedom Parade and performed for the first time in public. Music and lyrics were written by Mr. Edward J. Allen Jr. (copyright 2005), Assistant Principal for Student Affairs, at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County. The Freedom Parade singers will be flanked on both sides by 300 students carrying red, white and blue flashlights.

Three Student Speakers: During the school year, students from the secondary, elementary and special education schools of the Archdiocese competed for an opportunity to express what their Catholic education means to them.
Jaison Zachariah, an eighth grade student from Saint Ephrem Parish School in Bensalem will read an essay written by John Harkins, a sixth grade student from Saint Genevieve Parish School in Flourtown. Diane Mockus, a senior from Bishop McDevitt High School, will read an essay written by Kyle Nelson, a sophomore at the school. Jacqueline Lloyd, a student from Queen of the Universe Day Center School of Special Education in Levittown, will share her sentiments on Catholic education.

Remarks: Dr. Thomas F. O'Brien, Superintendent of Schools

Conclusion: The 102nd NCEA Convention is inaugurated. "The Freedom to Dream" will be reprised.

Editor's Note:
Approximate Time Line:
Parade Start at Archdiocesan Office Center 7:00 p.m.
Program Begins on Steps of Franklin Institute 7:45 p.m.
Conclusion of Program 8:20 p.m.

Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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