Now that the annual observance of Passover is drawing near, I take this opportunity to send greetings to the Jewish community in the Philadelphia area. Both on my own, and in union with the clergy and laity of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I offer my prayerful best wishes on this holy occasion.
We live in a time when global issues like war and persecution have resulted in many newcomers in our midst. They are often made to feel very alienated. The experience of the people of the Exodus has something very timely for us to learn. They were urged to be just and kind to the stranger. We must apply this teaching to our day with greater devotion than ever. In addition, the Passover miracle reminds us of the supreme power of our heavenly Father. As we recall in wonder once again the deliverance wrought by divine providence, we must remember in our day never to waver from our commitment to the pursuit of authentic justice and peace, and to do so without fear.
As you gather for Passover observances this year, I pray that the local Jewish community will find renewed courage from the Exodus experience in the face of recent threats and anti-Semitic attacks. You must draw strength from the fact that the same loving Father in heaven who guided Moses and the chosen people continues to guide you now even in the midst of ongoing challenges. Let us be emboldened to work with greater zeal to assure a climate of respect and religious freedom in our time and place. This is my prayer and my hope.
Charles J. Chaput,
O.F.M. Cap. (Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin)
Archbishop of Philadelphia