Philadelphia, Pa., Apr 14, 2014 / 11:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ahead of the Jewish observance of Passover, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has written to Philadelphia’s Jewish community to extend “the prayerful best wishes” of the Catholics of his archdiocese.

“We Catholics, who owe so much to the Jewish roots of our faith, join you in revering this great feast,” Archbishop Chaput said in an April 14 message.

The archbishop called Passover “the great feast that marks the liberation of the Chosen People from slavery.”

He said that the Passover celebrations “do not simply recall the past.” Rather, the observance’s rituals are “living reminders that in all times and places, God calls his people to a deeper personal commitment to promote justice in a troubled world.”

“Our times are challenging, and it can be easy to fear that evil may triumph,” he said.

But the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, he said, “reminds us once again that under heavenly guidance, genuine freedom can never be extinguished.”

The eight-day Passover observance begins at sundown April 14. Its observances include Seder meals during which participants retell the story of the Exodus.

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