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Gathering together in General Assembly in the See of St. Louis, we, the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, prayerfully turn our thoughts to Your Holiness.
The Church in the United States and our fellow citizens look forward to welcoming you in September. As the spiritual sons and daughters of Serra, we offer our imperfect witness to the perfect love of Jesus Christ. We will accompany you in prayer as you visit both the powerful and the vulnerable of our nation, inviting all of us into God’s mercy and hope. Holy Father, your witness renews the faithful and re-engages the fallen.
When you speak out for persecuted Christians, our voices are one with your voice. When you walk among the sheep, tending to those most in need, our footsteps are one with yours. And when you stand in defense of life and the garden that nourishes it, we rise with you. We are one body in Christ, sustained by the joy of the Gospel and nurtured by God’s loving mercy.
We join with you in prayer for the family, an institution so precious that the loving home of Mary and Joseph is how God chose to bring His only Son into the world. We join you in working for the equitable opportunity of all families to enjoy physical and economic security. And we boldly proclaim, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, Christ as an eternally welcoming home for all who seek refuge.
With these thoughts in mind, we ask Your Holiness to bless our assembly and the work that lies before us. We entrust our efforts, as well as your anticipated visit, to Mary, our loving mother and patroness of the United States.
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