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October 4, 2007


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, celebrated Mass for several thousand people on the front lawn of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania on Saturday, September 29, 2007 for the closing celebration of the Amazing Race for Grace, the major Bicentennial event for youth and young adults in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. (View video)

As the sun was setting, Cardinal Rigali said in his homily, "Today has indeed been an amazing day of grace in which we have celebrated the gift of our holy Catholic Faith. And now, dear friends, we come to this moment; this moment of God's special grace as we celebrate this holy Mass, which is the gift and mystery of God's love for us. It is here that we hear God's word proclaimed to us, and it is here that we enter into contact with Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of God made flesh for our salvation."

The Amazing Race for Grace, which was sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adults, began earlier in the day with a Holy Hour at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in center city Philadelphia and a Catholic Quest, which took participants to historic Catholic sites throughout the City of Philadelphia. Each team in the scavenger hunt visited four sites, with each site highlighting a different way the Church in Philadelphia is serving the people of God through: Catholic Education, Evangelization, Catholic Social Service, and Christian Community.

The Amazing Race for Grace then continued with a festival on the grounds of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary with food, games and music. Thousands of young people and their families representing parishes, schools, teams, and service organizations enjoyed the festivities and the atmosphere of Catholic fellowship. At 5:45 p.m., the bells of the Seminary tolled and the Processional began for Mass.

Cardinal Rigali encouraged those attending Mass to remember who we are: "As members of the Church, we are the same; we are children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. We are not simply a band of common believers, we are more. We are not a club, an organization or just a gathering of like-minded people, we are more. As members of the Church, we are also members of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we bear His name, we have life in Him and apart from Him we have no life at all."

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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