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April 10, 2007


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is the celebrant and homilist at the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord. Cardinal Rigali will read a Proclamation opening the year long observance of the 200th anniversary of the Church of Philadelphia. The Proclamation will be read following Communion.

The Bicentennial Proclamation will also be read at Easter Sunday Masses at all 270 parishes within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The theme of the Bicentennial celebration is Serving the People of God in the Beginning, Now and Always.

11:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Cardinal Rigali announced the plans for the Bicentennial at a news conference on Monday, April 2, 2007. Some of the many events which will take place during the year-long celebration include: a Pilgrimage from Philadelphia to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on April 28, 2007. The Bicentennial Chorus and Orchestra, made up of several hundred elementary and high school students representing the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese, will perform a concert at the Kimmel Center. Some other special events include a Gala to observe the 175th anniversary of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary this coming May and a youth event in the fall called the "Amazing Race for Grace" which will be a scavenger hunt at Catholic historical sites followed by a Youth Mass at the Seminary. There will be a closing Mass focused on families at the Villanova University Pavilion on April 13, 2008.

The Diocese of Philadelphia was established on April 8, 1808 by Pope Pius VII. Prior to this date the wider Philadelphia area had been part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. At the same time that the Diocese of Philadelphia was established, Pope Pius created the Dioceses (now Archdioceses) of Boston, Louisville (formerly Bardstown) and New York. In Philadelphia, Cardinal Rigali announced that a special commemorative book will be published in the fall titled "Our Faith-Filled Heritage." The Cardinal said, "The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is blessed with a rich history. It is the story of immigrants and of the establishment of the Catholic school system. It is the story of Eucharistic devotion and of parishioners who sacrificed to build churches for worship. It is the work of Bishops and priests who brought the word of God to those hungry for spiritual nourishment. It is the work of Religious who performed an enormous work. It is the work of so many dedicated lay faithful."

Editor's Note: A mult-feed will be provided. Television cameras will not be permitted in the Cathedral. Reporters and still photographers will be permitted in the Cathedral but are asked to remain in the designated area.

Donna M. Farrell
Director of Communications

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