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April 3, 2008


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, along with 200 clergy, men and women religious, students and other lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, will gather at 2:00 p.m. on April 8, 2008 on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to "ring in" the Bicentennial of the Church of Philadelphia. It will be a fun celebration, especially for the children, as we sing happy birthday, enjoy delicious birthday cake from famous Stock's Bakery and ring the Cathedral bells.

On April 8, 1808, Pope Pius VII established the Diocese of Philadelphia. To commemorate the Bicentennial, Cardinal Rigali has asked all parishes and schools throughout the Archdiocese to toll their bells either 200 times or for two minutes.

2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
The steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

After the bells toll, Cardinal Rigali will lead everyone in prayer and then cut a cake symbolizing the 200 birthday of the Church of Philadelphia as Roman Catholic High School for Boys Band leads everyone in singing "Happy Birthday." A float from the Cavan Society that received top honors in the 2008 Saint Patrick's Day Parade will also be present for the occasion. The float commemorated the 200th Anniversary of the Church of Philadelphia.

For those unable to attend this Bicentennial celebration it will be streamed live at

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will conclude its year-long Bicentennial celebration on Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. as thousands attend a Closing Mass at The Pavilion at Villanova University.

Editor's Note: A platform and an audio feed (mult-box) will be provided on 18th Street across from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at Sister Cities Plaza.

Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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