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Archdiocese Announces Bicentennial Events

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore, unveiled the official logo and program commemorating the Premier See of Baltimore’s 200th anniversary as an Archdiocese at a press conference at the Baltimore Basilica earlier today.

The program of events kicks off the weekend preceding Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival to the United States with a ground-breaking ceremony on Friday, April 11 at 11 a.m. at the future site of the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden, located at Charles and Franklin Streets. On Saturday, April 12 at 2 p.m. an exhibit commemorating the anniversary will be unveiled at St. Mary’s Seminary’s Laubacher Hall. The weekend culminates on Sunday with two events: The Anniversary Mass at the Basilica at 10:45 a.m., followed by the dedication of a bust honoring Cardinal William H. Keeler, the 14th Archbishop of Baltimore.

"The roots of the Catholic Church in the United States are deeply planted here in Baltimore," Archbishop O'Brien said. "We are so very proud of our important role in our Church’s history and look forward to celebrating this historic anniversary with the greater Baltimore community."

During his first visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will recognize the 200th anniversary of the expansion of the Catholic Church in the United States at events in Washington, D.C. and New York, culminating with a Mass at Yankee Stadium. The archbishops of Baltimore, Boston, Louisville, New York and Philadelphia will take part in the Mass.

Baltimore was established as the first Catholic diocese in the United States in 1789, serving the original 13 states. By 1804, its boundaries stretched north to Maine, west to Idaho and south to the Florida Panhandle. On April 8, 1808, Baltimore was elevated to the status of an Archdiocese, with the creation of four new dioceses: Bardstown (now Louisville), Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Additional events include two concerts and a lecture series featuring Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, well-known Catholic author and scholar Mr. George Weigel, and Ms. Colleen Carroll Campbell, author of "The New Faithful: Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy."

The logo features the official crest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore encircled with a red and blue circular band and a sash across it. The circular band contains the text: "The Archdiocese of Baltimore Established 1789 Elevated 1808." The sash has “Bicentennial Celebration” emblazoned on it.

For more information about the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Bicentennial, visit www.archbalt.org.

For more information about Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States April 15-20, visit www.uspapalvisit.org.