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April 30, 2009


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will lead a large contingent from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the biennial Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2009. This year's pilgrimage marks the jubilee year for the shrine in honor of the 50th anniversary of the completion of the great Upper Church.

A special intention offered by Cardinal Rigali and Archdiocesan pilgrims will be "prayer for peace in our city and the Archdiocese, along with prayer for the safety of all those who protect us." Special prayers will be offered for the families of fallen Archdiocesan police officers and military who have given their lives for our protection and freedom. Photographs of police officers killed in the line of duty since the last pilgrimage in 2007 will be carried in the procession.

Cardinal Rigali will be joined by Most Reverend Daniel Thomas and Most Reverend Joseph Cistone, Auxiliary Bishops of Philadelphia; Most Reverend Louis DeSimone, retired Auxiliary Bishop; priests; men and women religious; seminarians from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, students and parishioners.

Saturday, May 2, 2009
12:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C.

*** For Media Coverage of Departures from Philadelphia: Buses will depart at 7:30 a.m. from Saint Francis De Sales Church, 4625 Springfield Avenue; and at 8:00 a.m. from Saint Athanasius Church, Limekiln Pike & Walnut Lane. ***

The Archdiocesan Pilgrimage, which is held every other spring, will include an Opening Prayer Service; Confessions; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for Vocations, sponsored by the Vocations Office for Diocesan Priesthood; a Youth and Young Adult gathering featuring the contemporary music group, "Bethany;" visits to selected shrines; Procession and Crowning of the Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and Celebration of the Rosary. The Closing Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Rigali at 3:00 p.m.

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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