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May 6, 2008


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will welcome the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Eminence and Beatitude Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir, to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia later this month. Cardinal Sfeir will preside at a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul; visit and pray at Maronite Churches in South Philadelphia and Newtown Square, Delaware County and receive an honorary degree from Villanova University. The Patriarch will be accompanied by the Most Reverend Gregory J. Mansour, Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn and Bishop Robert J. Shaheen, Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon in St. Louis.

As the Patriarch of Lebanonís largest Christian community, the Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic Rite that is in communion with the Holy See, Cardinal Sfeir is a unifying force. He has spoken out on the deteriorating condition of Lebanon and ďpersistent efforts by some parties to overtake the country.Ē Lebanonís presidency, a post reserved for a Maronite Catholic, has been vacant since November 2007.

Cardinal Sfeir arrives in the United States on Thursday, May 15, 2008 to meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Patriarch arrives in Philadelphia on Friday, May 16, 2008 for three days of Masses, visits and ceremonies.

Friday, May 16, 2008
1:00 p.m.
Visit to Saint Maron Church
1010 Ellsworth Street, Philadelphia 19147

6:00 p.m.
Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

8:00 p.m.
Sheraton Philadelphia Center City
17th & Race Streets (behind Cathedral)

Saturday, May 17, 2008
11:00 a.m.
Mass at Saint Sharbel Church
3679 Providence Road, Newtown Square, Delaware County 19073

Sunday, May 18, 2008
10:00 a.m.
Conferral of honorary doctorate at Villanova University ( )

Editorís Note: For more information about the Maronite Church, please contact the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn for Maronite Catholics at 718-237-9913. The jurisdiction of St. Maron Diocese of Brooklyn extends to all Maronites in the East Coast.

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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