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April 12, 2006


Easter 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Praised be Jesus Christ who is risen from the dead!

At the Easter Vigil the Church exults in the news of Christ's Resurrection and sings, "Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in Glory! The risen Christ shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God's people!" The Church throughout the world rejoices indeed that the victory of Christ over sin and death belongs to each of her members, to all of us who have been baptized in Christ.

The renewal of our baptismal promises at Easter recalls both the gift of our adoption as children of God and our great responsibility to live as Christians. Saint Paul spells out this challenge for us in his Letter to the Romans, saying: "We were indeed baptized with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life (Rom 6:6).

Herein, dear friends, lies so much of the meaning of Easter: to live in newness of life as God's adopted children. In the weeks ahead our participation in the Eucharist will give us strength to live in newness of life, keeping God's commandments and living according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From Him come joy and peace, which I pray will fill your hearts and homes in this blessed Easter season.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Meredith V. Wilson
Communications Specialist

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