Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote the following letter to the Jewish community in the Philadelphia region ahead of the observance of Passover, which this year begins March 30 and extends to April 7.
Now that this year’s observance of Passover is approaching, I want to extend to the local Jewish community my prayerful best wishes as you enter into this sacred time. I do so united with all the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The memory of Passover is one of divine liberation from slavery, oppression and suffering. Pharaoh’s strength is no match for the love and power of the Heavenly Father. As you know, however, Passover liberation is not solely a past event. We can draw great strength even today from this victory over evil.
Sadly, slavery, oppression and suffering have not vanished in the many centuries following the Passover victory. We read daily of societal violence, growing addictions, and frightening international developments. We often feel powerless in what may appear to be the imminent triumph of evil.
In such dark moments, we turn anew to the shining memory of Passover. May this victory of freedom from slavery, cruel oppression and suffering encourage us to remember in our day that Divine Providence endures, that it always triumphs.
Once again, please accept the prayerful solidarity of your Catholic neighbors in these blessed days.
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
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