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March 28, 2005


Beginning Tuesday, March 29th, more than 15,000 delegates and exhibitors will attend the 102nd Annual Convention and Exposition of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) 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.

Tuesday, March 29th - Opening Day

9:15 a.m. Opening Ceremonies: Cardinal O'Hara High School drum line and fanfare will lead a procession of students representing elementary, secondary and religious education programs of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; many of the students will be in ethnic dress to reflect the diversity of the Archdiocese. Students will offer a welcome to the delegates in ten different languages.

9:30 a.m. Archbishop John P. Foley, President of the Vatican Pontifical Council on Social Communications, will deliver the keynote address. Archbishop Foley is a Philadelphian and former editor of the Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard and Times.

11:15 a.m. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will be the celebrant and homilist at the opening Mass.
12:45 p.m. Cardinal Rigali presents awards to several local Philadelphia recipients.

1:30 p.m. Press Briefing: Knights of Columbus, Announce monies to Catholic educators to help strengthen Catholic inner-city schools. Announcement will be made by Mr. Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight and Mr. Michael Guerra, NCEA President.

2:00 p.m. Press Briefing: Archbishop John P. Foley

Note: All press briefings are located in NCEA Press Room 304, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Wednesday, March 30th

4:15 p.m. Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop of New York, will celebrate Mass.

7:30 p.m. "Concert of Excellence" - Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia. This concert features more than 500 musicians and soloists in the All-Catholic bands, choruses and orchestras. The program is highlighted by music selections performed by the Archdiocesan Elementary Honors Band, the All-Catholic Secondary Concert Band, the All-Catholic Chorus and All-Catholic Orchestra. This year marks a first for the All-Catholic Orchestra: of its 40-member string section, 16 elementary school musicians proved they were talented enough to join the ranks of the older players.

Thursday, March 31st

9:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics, serving 1.4 million Special Olympic athletes and their families in over 150 countries and focusing on acceptance, inclusion and respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities across the globe.

4:15 p.m. Cardinal William Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore will celebrate Mass.

Friday, April 1st

9:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Sister Mary Rose McGeady, former President and CEO of Covenant House International, an agency dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of street youth.

10:15 a.m. Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia overseeing Catholic Education, will celebrate Mass.

The NCEA convention is open to anyone working in or interested in Catholic education. It features general sessions and liturgies, department meetings, development sessions, technology sessions, presentations and workshops. The NCEA is the largest private, professional education association in the world. NCEA membership represents more than 200,000 educators serving 7.6 million students at all levels of Catholic Education.

This will be the largest celebration of Catholic education in the Archdiocese since 1996, the last time the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hosted the NCEA Convention.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications
(215) 587-3747

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