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December 21, 2006


Below is Cardinal Justin Rigali's Christmas Letter to be communicated to the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on December 23rd and 24th. Please feel free to quote from the letter or to print it in its entirety.

Christmas 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

May the grace and peace of God our Father be with you and your families as we celebrate the Birth of His Son!

The festive days of the Christmas season, from the Nativity of the Lord to the Feast of the Epiphany, give us time to rejoice in the inestimable gift which the Father has made to us in His Son, Jesus. God's loving plan of salvation begins to unfold in the birth of the Christ Child and, at the same time, humanity begins to see what God will make possible for us through His Son.

Blessed Columba Marmion tells that, "All our holiness comes down to participating, through grace, in the Divine Sonship of Christ Jesus: to being, through supernatural adoption, what Christ is by nature." What a privilege God the Father has given us in calling us to be His sons and daughters!

We know that this great privilege brings with it an equally great responsibility. It is the responsibility to live as Christ lives, to speak as He speaks and to teach what He commands us. May these days of Christmas joy deepen our resolve to live as true sons and daughters of the eternal Father and heirs to the life of grace.

Sincerely in Christ,

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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