November 16, 2017 Dear Brother Priest, Each year as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I have tried to express my appreciation to you and all of our brother priests who are so much a part of what goes on each day in the life of this archdiocese, helping to bring great numbers of people closer to the Lord. In keeping with the great Thanksgiving Day tradition, which reminds us of just how good God is and how regularly that goodness touches us through the thoughtfulness and kind deeds of others, I join you in saying thanks first to God and then to one another. In a most particular way, I offer my personal thank you. This year I thought you might want to hear of an extraordinary manifestation of the generosity of the women and men whom you serve in your parish. As you know, following the hurricane disasters that struck Texas and particularly the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the Virgin Islands and especially the Diocese of Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and the Archdiocese of San Juan in Puerto Rico, special relief collections were taken up in parishes across the archdiocese. Some $600,000 has been collected, all of which has been distributed to these three dioceses. In forwarding the money, I reminded each of the bishops that the gift was the generous response of our Catholic faithful who also offer their affectionate prayers. Reflecting on how alive in the Spirit is this Church, I also appreciate all that you do to foster vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. Thanks be to God this past June we ordained four new priests and there is no doubt that the Lord continues to invite laborers into the vineyard. In these men we see the future of our Church and if our current priestly fraternity is any indication, it will be a solid faith-filled, self-giving, Christ-centered future. My brother priests, may this Thanksgiving Day be a time of joy and appreciation. With gratitude for your support and pledging my continued prayers for you and your ministry, I am Faithfully in Christ, Cardinal Donald Wuerl Archbishop of Washington
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