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Dear friends in America,

My heart is still full of joy as I recall the warmth of your affection, and the cordiality with which you received me during my visit to your great country.

I am happy to have this brief moment to speak to you about Catholic Relief Services and about those irreplaceable works of mercy that are so close to my heart. I am mindful of how Americans in this century have repeatedly shown deep sensitivity and compassion whenever the sufferings of mankind have called out to them. And that is why I do not hesitate to address you once again.

Catholic Relief Services stirs up renewed faith in humanity. It brings healing comfort to our afflicted brothers and sisters from one end of the world to the other - to the once-rejected boat people from Vietnam; to the suffering masses of refugees from Cambodia; to the drought-stricken population of East Timor; to the victims of revolution, war, hatred, inhumanity and underdevelopment. These are our brothers and sisters who make up the CRS parish. The devoted corps of CRS workers in distant lands uplifts them in their grief, and ministers to their needs.

Through this CRS telethon telecast I direct my words today to all Americans, to all men and women of good will and full heart.

The works of faith, hope and charity is a bond that unites all peoples. You can help strengthen this bond and forge new ones throughout the world - with your interest, your understanding and your love.

Thank you and God bless you.

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