Introduction to Letter to Rectors of Shrines

"Places Used by Providence to Bring About Conversion"

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is the introduction to the letter of encouragement sent Aug. 15 by the Congregation for Clergy to the rectors of shrines. The letter is signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza and Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, the dicastery's prefect and secretary, respectively.

* * *

Your Eminence / Excellency,

Looking to the vast horizon of the new evangelization, this Congregation takes the
opportunity, by virtue of its competence in the material, to transmit, through the good
offices of Your Eminence / Excellency, a letter of encouragement to the Rectors of Shrines that are to be found within the boundaries of your ecclesiastical circumscription (cf. enclosure).

Shrines have, in the course of history, shown themselves to be exceptional places
used by Providence to bring about conversion and to provide support and comfort to many.

Still to this day they can continue to enlighten many with the joy of the Christian faith and
can contribute to making them open to the universal call to holiness. With resources such as these we may humbly contribute to mitigate secularism and to increase religious practice.

It is our desire to see an ever increased zeal on the part of priests who are entrusted
with the pastoral care of Shrines, a fuller comprehension of the importance of treasuring
every occasion for the care of the liturgy, catechesis, preaching, hearing confessions, the celebration of the sacraments and of sacred art. In this way, by paying attention to these particular aspects, one may offer some assistance to those who might visit a Shrine, even occasionally.

Thanking you for distributing and drawing attention to the enclosed letter as you deem fit, I avail myself of the opportunity to express my sentiments of profound esteem and
with every best wish, I remain,

Yours Sincerely in Christ

Mauro Card. Piacenza
Prefect

Celso Morga Iruzubieta
Titular Archbishop of Alba marittima
Secretary