WASHINGTON (March 4, 2003) -- Cardinal Pio Laghi, Pope John Paul II's special envoy to meet with President George W. Bush, will celebrate Mass and deliver the homily this Ash Wednesday, March 5, at 5:15 pm at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. An audio mult will be available inside the east entrance.
Cardinal Laghi will speak with media following the Mass, at approximately 6:15pm.
Pope John Paul II has called on Catholics worldwide to dedicate their fasting on Ash Wednesday for the peaceful resolution of disputes. In keeping with the spirit of the Pope's request, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, has designated the Mass at the Basilica as a special Mass to Pray for Peace. Cardinal McCarrick will concelebrate the Mass.
Special days of prayer and reflection and Masses to Pray for Peace have occurred in parishes and dioceses throughout the United States during the past several weeks.
The Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is open to the public.