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 April 19 and extends to April 27. 


Dear Friends,

As Jews throughout the world observe the solemn holy days of Passover, I would like to greet my Jewish sisters and brothers in the Philadelphia area. I would also like to extend to you the prayerful solidarity and neighborly respect of the parishioners and clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Passover commemorates not simply Pharaoh’s decision to end the enslavement of the Hebrew people. This holy occasion recalls a singular manifestation of divine providence, an inspiring intervention of heavenly power on earth. Passover taught the former slaves to have confidence in the will and power of their Heavenly Father.

This confidence must be renewed in our day. Our times are marked by many evils, like localized wars, continued poverty, societal divisiveness, and the sad plight of so many immigrants. Under these circumstances, hopelessness may overtake us. Instead, however, we must believe that the One who fulfilled His promises long ago will not abandon us today, if we turn to him in loving prayer, honest repentance and an ardent love of neighbor.

Once again, please accept my prayerful best wishes for many blessings upon you at this holy time.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia