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Gudziak: Celebrate America’s blessings, pray for its ‘spiritual’ strength

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PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia reminded clergy, religious and the faithful what a blessing it is to be an American this Independence Day.

In a July 3 statement, he thanked the Lord for allowing his ancestors to immigrate to America, where they encountered opportunity, lived with dignity, and developed their God-given talents. Born in Syracuse, New York, he is the son of immigrant parents from Ukraine.

He then turned his prayer away from the past and looked to the present and future of America.

"Let’s pray this Independence Day for the moral and spiritual strength of our country," Archbishop Gudziak said. "There are many challenges to the founding principles of our country. Let us pray that each of us can continue upholding the openness, the welcome, the generosity, the open-heartedness, the willingness to help, that this country stands for."

He prayed that this country continue to grow in its independence and freedom from generation to generation.

Finally, he invoked a blessing on all the priests, religious faithful, neighbors, friends and relatives of the Metropolitan Diocese.

"May we always be worth of the freedom you have given us, may we always be responsible, and may we always live in peace and joy," Archbishop Gudziak said. "God bless America! Glory to Jesus Christ."

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