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Bicentennial celebrations to begin with opening Mass

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BOSTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston will kick off its yearlong bicentennial celebration with an opening Mass to be held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.

“In our 200 years, the history of the archdiocese has been blessed with people, places and events and has influenced both the country and the world...From unique and spirit-filled personalities, to the missionary zeal of the Society of St. James the Apostle...to the extreme generosity of the people of the archdiocese, we have a rich history of which we can be very proud,” stated Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley in a letter to all the clergy of the archdiocese.

“This bicentennial moment is an opportunity to continue our mission and ministry in bringing the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ to all. It is a moment of grace for each and every one of us,” he continued.

The archdiocese has invited “members of parish staffs who have direct affiliation with diocesan offices and agencies such as pastoral associates, school principals, religious education directors/coordinators, and business managers” as well as all clergy members to participate in the opening Mass, the letter stated.

“It is my wish that representatives from all parishes and agencies will be able to come to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to mark that day with us,” the cardinal stated.

The opening Mass is one of several archdiocesan-wide events scheduled for the bicentennial year. Other events include a youth celebration, to be held in August 2008, as well as regional days to celebrate the Catholic Family of the Archdiocese of Boston, which will be held in each of the five regions of the archdiocese. In addition, individual parishes are also hosting celebratory events.

The Archdiocese of Boston is one of four archdioceses in the United States that will mark the 200th anniversary of their founding in the coming year. Along with Boston, the archdioceses of Louisville, Ky., New York and Philadelphia were formed from the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1808. Prior to the establishment of the new dioceses, the Baltimore Archdiocese encompassed the whole of the United States.

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