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April 18, 2005


A letter from Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, regarding the Conclave to elect a new Pope, was read at all Masses this past weekend in the 275 parishes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. You may quote from the letter or reprint it in its entirety. Cardinal Rigali is one of 115 Cardinals participating in the Conclave. He has been in Rome since Monday, April 4, 2005, following the death of Pope John Paul II.

Letter of Cardinal Justin Rigali to the Priests and Faithful
of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
April 17, 2005

Dear Priests, dear People of God,

I write to you from Rome as the Church comes to the end of the nine days of prayer for the soul of our beloved Holy Father Pope John Paul II. I am deeply grateful to you for all the prayers that you have offered for him.

On Monday, April 18 the Cardinals will enter the Conclave to elect a new Pope. What is so gratifying is the fact that we experience the support and prayerful solidarity of the entire Church.

I encourage you to pray fervently during these days, to offer or assist at Mass when possible, and to gather frequently in Eucharistic adoration. I ask you to invoke for the Cardinals the light and strength of the Holy Spirit. Please continue to ask our Blessed Mother, Seat of Wisdom and Temple of the Holy Spirit, to assist us. I assure you all of my own prayers and love in Christ Jesus.

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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