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June 19, 2009

Announcements to be read in all parishes this weekend

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, announces the Archdiocesan observance of the Year of the Priest. The year begins today, June 19, 2009, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and ends on June 19, 2010.

An announcement from Cardinal Rigali will be read at all 269 parishes in the Archdiocese on the weekend of June 20-21, 2009 and released via video on the Archdiocesan web site at Cardinal Rigali says, "With these words, holy priests for a holy people, I am pleased to announce the observance of the Year of the Priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has called for this year of grace for the whole Church as a new opportunity for priests to grow in holiness and live more fully united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and for all the members of the Church to recall the essential role of priests among us and in society.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Saint John Vianney, known as the Curé (parish priest) of Ars, who was an example of great holiness and service to his people. There will be many opportunities during the year for participation by priests, deacons, men and women religious and the laity. (click here for schedule)

During the Year of the Priest in the Archdiocese:
- An Archdiocesan Prayer for Priests will be made widely available for use in parishes, schools, religious education programs and other institutions;
- A relic of Saint John Vianney will travel from parish to parish throughout the Archdiocese;
- On the Feast of the Holy Rosary - October 7 - the Rosary will be recited in every parish, school and religious education program for priests and priestly vocations and for Cardinal Rigali on the 6th Anniversary of his Installation as Archbishop of Philadelphia;
- A live dramatic presentation on the life of Saint John Vianney will take place at selected locations in the Archdiocese;
- A lecture series on the priesthood will be held at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary;
- A concert of Sacred Music will be held at the end of Lent;
- Convocation for all priests of the Archdiocese will be held in May 2010. Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York is the keynote speaker.

In his announcement to the almost 1.5 million Catholics in the Archdiocese, Cardinal Rigali said, "Throughout this year, the priests and bishops of the Archdiocese, along with me, will reflect more deeply on the calling to which we have been called. We will make use of the example of Saint John Vianney and attempt to follow his example of prayer, penance, humility and apostolic zeal in the service of Jesus and you, our people. At the same time, we ask you to pray for us."


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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