Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
Christmas is a favorite season and holiday for many. As Catholics, this even bears a unique mark in our souls since this is the celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world, Jesus the Christ. The jolly nature of this season spills over even to non-believers. This joy is demonstrated outwardly: bright and colorful lights are lit, greeting cards are sent, parties are celebrated, church bells are tolled, commercial centers and churches are frequented. This unique season of joy is freely given to us by God the Father, it dwells among us through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Let us celebrate it, but also take custody over this great gift of joy, allowing no one to steal it away.
As Christians, we believe that God has given us so much even as we are still beset with many needs. We are blessed because God the Father has gifted us by sending us His Son to dwell among us. Because of this, we have a sense of family, friendship, and direction. However, there are many during this season who still feel that joy has escaped them. Still others may have felt orphaned not because they have no parents or family but because relationships are torn. Strangers whom we encounter do not have to tell us their stories, their eyes declare their pain. In this season of Christmas, let us not put things off, let us not be indecisive. Instead, let us give and forgive so that those who still feel that love is elusive and the world is unkind may finally find consolation and joy.
So from my desk to your homes, I send my warmest greetings this Christmas season. As a parish community, St. Frances of Rome has much to be grateful and joyful about this year. Our hope is high. Our shared goal to construct a new church looks ever promising, and I thank you for your continued support and prayers. Let us press on and bring to completion the work we have begun together. Merry Christmas and let us meet 2019 with joyful hope.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. James F. Oropel