Archbishop and cardinal-designate Justin Rigali arrived in Philadelphia yesterday in anticipation of his installation as the new spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia today. The former archbishop of St. Louis succeeds Anthony Joseph Cardinal Bevilacqua, who retired according to canon law.
Cardinal Bevilacqua was present to welcome Archbishop Rigali at the 2 p.m. installation mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. About 1,600 people, including five cardinals, 15 archbishops, 70 bishops and more than 500 priests are expected to attend.
St. Louis’ Catholics held a special farewell mass in honor of Archbishop Rigali at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Oct. 5. There, the 68-year-old archbishop addressed the faithful, whom he had served for nine-and-a-half years, and affirmed the role of both the religious and the laity, saying that they are “all necessary for the Church to fulfil her mission.”
Archbishop Rigali underlined the important role of the family. He emphasized that the Church counts on the family to “transmit the faith to their children, to transmit the ideals of human sexuality, and Christian married love [and] to transmit the steam for the vocations to the priesthood and religious life.”
He also encouraged the community to continue their outreach to the poor and to protect children and the unborn.
Though the new archbishop of St. Louis has not yet been named, Archbishop Rigali invited the community to welcome the new archbishop warmly. He also urged them to renew their “fidelity to Jesus Christ and His gospel, to the teachings of the Church, and to the sacred practices of the Church, to the whole sacramental life of the Church, the Sunday eucharistic celebration, and eucharistic adoration, to liturgical and private prayer.”
Archbishop Rigali will be inducted in to the College of Cardinals in Rome Oct. 21. Of the 31 bishops to be named cardinal, he is the only one from the United States.