Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia, died on January 31, 2012 at the age of 88. Cardinal Bevilacqua died in his sleep at 9:15 p.m. at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he had resided since his retirement. Cardinal Bevilacqua served as Archbishop of Philadelphia from February 11, 1988 to October 7, 2003. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals on June 28, 1991.

“I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of my predecessor Cardinal Bevilacqua,” said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia. “I encourage all Catholics in the Archdiocese to join me in praying for the repose of his soul and that God will comfort his family as they mourn his loss. Cardinal Bevilacqua has been called home by God; a servant of the Lord who loved Jesus Christ and His people.”

As the leader of the Archdiocese for 15 years, Cardinal Bevilacqua initiated a renewal process called Catholic Faith and Life 2000 to bring non-practicing Catholics back to the Church. The renewal process culminated on October 22, 2000 with 40,000 Catholics participating in a candlelight procession on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Cardinal Bevilacqua also reached out to Catholics in the Archdiocese through a weekly live call-in radio program and a monthly bulletin titled, “Voice of Your Shepherd.” He regularly made pastoral visits to parishes, schools, nursing homes and other institutions throughout the Archdiocese and to people of all faiths through his visits to hospitals and prisons as well as ecumenical and interreligious outreach.

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