Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez issued the following message Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving Day, observed Thursday, Nov. 24 in the United States.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On behalf of myself and the auxiliary bishops, I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving. Each year, this uniquely American holiday provides an opportunity to reflect on our lives and thank God for His many wonderful blessings in our lives.
I count each of you as gift to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I am deeply grateful for your commitment to the people of our local Church. We are able to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of those who rely on us each day because your faith inspires you to put God’s love into action. I am sincerely thankful for all of you — priests, deacons, consecrated religious and laity. Your steadfast service in our parishes, schools, social service ministries, and administrative offices builds up the Kingdom of God here on earth.
I know your work has been more challenging than ever before over the past few years because of the ongoing pandemic. While there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel and we are moving closer to normalcy, the virus is still with us and we need to remain vigilant for the good of all those around us.
Throughout the Archdiocese, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and all those we serve. If you have not already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, I strongly encourage you to do so as soon as possible unless a valid medical reason prevents you from receiving it.
If you have been vaccinated, please continue following COVID-19 safety protocols and get a booster shot when you are eligible. There have been breakthrough cases of the virus among the vaccinated and maintaining immunity levels is important.
Pope Francis has told us that vaccination is an act of charity for our neighbors. It is also especially important for those whose work or ministry will take them into places that could require all visitors to be vaccinated. All of us are partners in public health and we will continue working together for the common good.
As we gather around the table with our family and friends on Thanksgiving Day, we should remember that Christ’s love is the greatest gift of all. We can absorb it, reflect it, and give it to others. Know that you and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you abundantly with peace and joy.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Nelson. J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
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