. . . The United States has been a refuge for millions -- and no nation has been more generous in helping to rebuild the lands of its former enemies, including this great nation of Italy after the Second World War. No nation has been more generous in helping the victims of natural disasters not only within our own orders but around the world.
The cardinal of Los Angeles and the bishop of Brooklyn, the two major ports of arrival for those entering the United States, have told me that Mass is celebrated in their communities in more than 40 languages every Sunday.
The United States has been called the great "melting pot" -- and, to a certain extent it is, but it is even more a mosaic, many colors and many cultures in one beautiful expression of unity with diversity -- "e pluribus, unum" [out of many, one].
I am extremely grateful to be not only a Catholic, but a Catholic from and of the United States of America. God has been so good to us, and most of our people have recognized God's goodness to us and have responded with gratitude to him and with generosity to others. We recognize ourselves to be stewards and not masters of the abundance and of the freedom with which we have been blessed.
I have had the privilege of visiting most of the world in the service of the Holy See. I have seen and experienced much, and I have known many wonderful people from almost every nation.
But on this day above all, I thank God for my faith and for my freedom, and for the fact that I am an American, a citizen of a nation which, with all its faults, is still justly viewed as a land of opportunity, a beacon of hope in an often despairing world.
On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank our Heavenly Father, and we pray fervently, "God bless America!"
Thanksgiving Day Homily, Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, delivered at Santa Susanna Church, in Rome.