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December 18, 2008



Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will visit the men of Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC) in Northeast Philadelphia to celebrate Mass for approximately 100 inmates. Cardinal Rigali has made prison visits and Mass a part of his annual Christmas ministry. In his fifth year as Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Rigali returns to the site of his first Archdiocese Christmas prison visit in 2003. Last year's Christmas Mass was celebrated at Bucks County Prison.

Father Gregory Cozzubbo, Director of Chaplaincy Services; and Father Paul Morrissey, Roman Catholic chaplain of the Philadelphia Prison System; will concelebrate. Inmates will participate in the liturgy as readers and altar servers.

9:30 a.m. Mass
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center
8301 State Road, Philadelphia

Following the Mass, Cardinal Rigali has asked to meet with approximately 130 juveniles under the age of 18 who are charged as adults but can not attend the service. No media access will be permitted for Cardinal Rigali's meeting with the juveniles. In December 2004, Cardinal Rigali visited Graterford Prison in Montgomery County. In December 2005, Cardinal Rigali visited Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility in Northeast Philadelphia, where he celebrated Mass and visited with the men. Cardinal Rigali's 2006 visit was with the women of Riverside Correction Facility in Philadelphia.

PICC opened in 1986 and remains the headquarters and showroom for Philacor, the prison industries program of the Philadelphia Prison System. The showcase industry at PICC is the extensive carpentry trade program. Approximately 1100 inmates reside at PICC awaiting trial, with about 35 percent serving a "county term" of less than two years.

Editor's Note: Media planning to cover are kindly asked to contact Robert Eskind, Public Information Officer for the Philadelphia Prison System at 215-685-7888 or 215-906-6757 (cell). Faces of inmates may not be on camera. Prison staff will seat inmates who agree to be on camera in a designated area. Selected residents may be available for media interviews following the service. Street parking only.

Kevin Mulligan
Associate Director for Communications

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