Dear Friends,
Greetings to all of my sisters and brothers of the Jewish faith tradition as you mark the holy days of Passover! May these high holy days be a time of peace and blessing for each of you.
Your solemn observance this year is particularly poignant. In doing our part to impede the spread of the coronavirus and to protect the most vulnerable among us, we are all living out concepts such as quarantine, isolation, and social distancing.
The story of Passover is more timely than ever. The Pharaoh enslaved and oppressed the people of Exodus, however his strength was no match for the love and power of our Heavenly Father. I pray that you will draw strength in knowing that the same loving Father who guided Moses continues to guide you now in the midst of an ever-evolving national health crisis.
In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited a Synagogue in Rome. There he said, “You are our dearly beloved brothers [and sisters] and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers [and sisters].”
I share the sentiments he offered over 30 years ago with warm affection. You are our beloved elder brothers and sisters. Together, as a united human family we will continue to navigate the challenging waters of the global coronavirus pandemic. With the Father’s grace and blessing, this too shall pass.
+Nelson J. Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia