IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
Winter is officially here and Christmas 2008 is palpably close now. Our offices closed at 100pm today and will reopen on January 5th in the New Year. I finally have some time to begin to think seriously about my Christmas homily which I will post here shortly after delivering it at the Cathedral Midnight Mass. I know my priests and deacons, sacristans and music ministry people are very busy getting ready for tomorrow night and Thursday morning.
We know a lot of people who will be worshiping with us on Christmas eve and day, are not normally in Church. We welcome them and hope they will like and embrace what they experience, the living Eucharist. I especially love this season because it reunites in Church generations: grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren. And there is a certain calm and peace about it all, especially after the stores close on Christmas eve.
I will post again on Christmas Day and follow that with some reflections on the feasts and memorials between Christmas and New Years: St. Stephen, John the Apostle, the Holy Family, Holy Innocents, and St. Thomas a Becket. But the bishop is shutting down for a week beginning on Holy Family Sunday and ending on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. No blogs. No sightings. Also, I will be on retreat with the bishops of all the (arch)dioceses from Wilmington, DE to Miami, Florida, from January 5th through January 9th at Our Lady of Florida Retreat House in North Palm Beach. As soon as I get back from retreat, confirmations begin in earnest right up to Ash Wednesday – the circle of life for a bishop and his priests.
I am so lucky and privileged to serve among you and to all the priests, deacons, religious women and men, seminarians, and people of God of the five counties, I wish you all a most blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with happiness, health, and holiness. It all began so simply so long ago.