Archbishop Pérez to Honor 150 Volunteer Catechists and Retired Auxiliary Bishop Fitzgerald in Mass of Thanksgiving

celebration of the eucharistImage by Norbert Staudt

PHILADELPHIA, PA — In a grand celebration of commitment and service, Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will preside over a Mass of Thanksgiving honoring 150 volunteer catechists, along with several directors, coordinators, and administrators of Parish Religious Education Programs (PREP). These individuals, who serve parishes throughout the five-county region, will be recognized for their unwavering dedication to fostering religious education and faith formation.

The Mass will take place on Saturday, January 13, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, located at 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

Notably, Archbishop Pérez will present the Saint Paul VI Award to Most Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. This award acknowledges Bishop Fitzgerald’s significant contributions to evangelization and catechesis over several decades. His leadership has been instrumental in shaping the spiritual growth of countless individuals within the Archdiocese.

In addition to honoring Bishop Fitzgerald, Archbishop Pérez will present awards to PREP directors and coordinators as well as parish catechists who have served in those roles for 10 to 30 years and from five to 40 years respectively. This recognition underscores the enduring commitment these individuals have shown to their parishes and the larger Catholic community.

The Mass and awards ceremony are sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Catechetical Formation and the Association of Parish Directors, Coordinators, and Administrators of Religious Education. As such, the event is not just a celebration of individual accomplishments but also a testament to the collective efforts of these dedicated servants in enriching the spiritual lives of Catholics across the region.

This special Mass of Thanksgiving promises to be a momentous occasion, reflecting the depth of gratitude within the Archdiocese for the tireless work of these catechetical leaders and volunteers. Their service continues to enrich the faith journey of many, strengthening the spiritual fabric of the Catholic community in Philadelphia.

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