The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach will hold a special Mass at 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, at St. Patrick Church in Palm Beach Gardens as part of the annual event International Day of Cities for Life – Cities Against the Death Penalty. November 30th is a globally designated and recognized day for the annual “World Day for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.”*
Spearheaded by the lay Catholic community of Sant'Egidio since 2002, each year about 2,000 cities all over the globe participate in “World Day for the Abolition of the Death Penalty” to renounce the death penalty and encourage a more civil form of justice. Most cities take part by lighting up major historical, religious or civic monuments to support the effort to raise awareness to stop the death penalty.
As a member of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and a member of the National Coalition to End the Death Penalty, the Diocese of Palm Beach is participating by holding a special Mass which will be followed by a light dinner and presentation in the parish hall. Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach, will be the Mass celebrant. Bishop Barbarito is encouraging parishes to participate by raising awareness through communications in their parish bulletin or brief teaching moments during Mass about what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about use of the death penalty. The Diocese of Palm Beach has 53 parishes and missions with the majority of them planning to participate and support, in some form, the “World Day for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.”
Bishop Barbarito and Catholic Charities also encourage parishioners in the diocesan faith community to attend the special Mass and invite others from the community who share a similar desire to end the death penalty.
Similar Catholic Masses will also take place on November 30th around the state in the Archdiocese of Miami and the Dioceses of Orlando, St. Augustine, Venice, St. Petersburg, and Pensacola-Tallahassee. For more information on events around the state, please visit the website of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops at www.flaccb.org
The Sant'Egidio Catholic Community selected November 30th as the annual date for the “Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty” event because it coincides with the anniversary of the first death penalty abolition in history which occurred in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Italy on November 30, 1786.