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At Thanksgiving, Americans united in debt we owe to God, say prelates

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At Thanksgiving, Americans united in debt we owe to God, say prelates

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The president
and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Nov. 23 that
Thanksgiving Day is a time for the nation to pause and “give God thanks for the
abundant blessings he has bestowed upon us.”

“It is a grateful tradition
people of many faiths have honored since even before our country’s founding,”
said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president, and Archbishop
Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated
as a federal holiday on
the last Thursday in November every year since 1863, when, during the Civil
War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “thanksgiving
and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

“In modern times, Thanksgiving
has become a day when dispersed families come together again around the dinner
table,” the two prelates said in a message to the country.

They asked for prayers for those
who were traveling to be with family for the holiday “that God may guide them
safely to their loved ones.”

“Thanksgiving is also a day of
service as volunteers prepare a meal for those less fortunate. Let us pray for
everyone separated from the abundance of our country that God may comfort them
and opportunities may open for them to fully participate in the hope of America,”
they said. “Let us also especially remember the elderly and those who are in
need, as well as anyone who may be spending the day alone. May they experience
the closeness of God.”

“On Thanksgiving, millions of
Americans, from big cities to rural countryside, will bow their heads to say
grace. They will be successful and struggling, citizen and newcomer, sisters
and brothers to us all,” Cardinal DiNardo and Archbishop Gomez added. “Diverse
as we are, we are united in the debt we owe to God and our desire to give him
thanks. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!”


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