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November 29, 2004


Below is Cardinal Justin Rigali's Advent Letter to be communicated to the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the weekend of November 27th and 28th. Please feel free to quote from the letter or to print it in its entirety.

Advent 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

At the beginning of the holy season of Advent, I offer my prayers and encouragement to you and your families.

These days of prayerful preparation for the annual celebration of Christ's birth and of hopeful waiting for His return in glory provide us with the opportunity to reflect more profoundly on the gift the Father has so graciously given us in His Son Jesus. The Word became flesh and emptied Himself so that we might experience peace with the Father and each other.

These days take on added significance during this Year of the Eucharist. Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II has set this year aside for the Church to renew her love for and devotion to the Lord Jesus who abides with us in this most blessed of the Sacraments. Through the Eucharist the love of God is made tangible and concrete for each one of us. It is both a constant reminder and source of strength for us as we strive to respond in faith and to reflect the love of God to others.

During these days I ask you to make every effort amidst your many responsibilities to recommit yourself to a more devout celebration of the Eucharist and appreciation for the Lord's abiding presence in the Tabernacle. May the Eucharistic Year inspire you to a greater charity "so that when he comes he may find us watching in prayer, our hearts filled with wonder and praise" [Second Preface of Advent].

Sincerely in Christ,

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archbishop of Philadelphia

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Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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