“We want to take the opportunity of the centenary to honor our predecessors, to thank them for all that they have done and that we now enjoy,” the Cardinal says, and adds, “We must think of the Bishops and Priests (mostly Franciscans) who built, maintained and embellished the Cathedral.”
The faithful, the Spanish-born member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) says, “must live the present with passion; a passion that will not be dedicated, at this moment, to the construction of a stone building, but to the construction of the Church, the Body of Christ, made of the living stones that we are.”
“We commit ourselves to live in fraternity among ourselves, but also with Christians of other denominations, with our Muslim brothers and with all people of good will,” he further says, adding that apart from living the present, the people of God are to “embrace the future with hope.”
“We must live moved by hope: the hope of a better world, of a new heaven and a new earth, the hope of a Church that follows its spouse Christ in his journey with the poor and in the service of humanity, of a Church that is open to all and a sacrament of encounter with all,” the 69-year-old Cardinal says in his November 2 statement.
St. Peter’s Cathedral was constructed on 17 November 1921. Two years later (1923), when the Apostolic Vicariate of Rabat was created by Pope Pius XI, the church became the Cathedral of the Vicariate, then, and in 1955, the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Rabat.
In his November 2 message to the faithful, Cardinal López who has been at the helm of Rabat Archdiocese since 2018 outlines some of the centenary celebrations to be launched on November 20.
“We plan to celebrate this centenary from 20 November 2021 to 29 June 2022, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul,” the Archbishop of Rabat who was elevated to Cardinal in October 2019 says.
He continues, “The opening will be celebrated on Saturday, November 20, with a diocesan Mass at 10:30 a.m., led by faithful from all over the Diocese. Many Priests will be concelebrating, following their annual session.”
“The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter on February 22, will allow us to meditate on the work of God in the person of Peter, the disciple on whom Jesus wanted to found his Church,” the Cardinal says.
At the end of March 2022, he says, “an event will be organized to remember the visit of Pope Francis to Morocco, where he delivered a magnificent exhortation to the Priests, Religious men and women and brothers and sisters of other Christian denominations in the Cathedral.”