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Christmas 2016

“Te Deum”

The servers line up with vestments for the bishop, preparing for Midnight Mass


Daily Sermons
December 16 – Bp. Dolan – Say Hello First
December 19 – Fr. Lehtoranta – How to have a “Merry Christmas”
December 20 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Christmas Comes, Christmas Goes
December 21 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Be Not Incredulous But Faithful
December 22 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Mission Zeal of St. Frances Cabrini

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Merry Christmas! I’m writing this on the Winter Solstice, St. Thomas Day, the shortest day and longest night. I’m thinking about the light of faith in the midst of darkness. Spring-like weather is predicted as of now for Christmas and the Octave. If only! It’s a curious weather pattern we’ve had before, and always brings me back to one of my favorite poets, Crashaw. He summarizes in poetry the delicious paradoxes of this day, of our Catholic Faith:

“Welcome, all wonders in one sight!

Eternity shut in a span,
Summer in winter, day in night,

Heaven in earth, and God in man!

Great little One, whose all-embracing birth

Lifts earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to earth.”

It’s easy to get caught up in what “the world, the flesh, and the devil” are up to in our country and the Church. But a little bit goes a long way, and we should more focus on the riches of our Faith, than the reaches of our foe, who has nothing on us, because we are Christ’s. I was struck by this quote from St. Isaac the Syrian (yes, it once was a Catholic country, before the Mohammedans destroyed its faith, and the Americans its peace), “Why do you trouble yourself in a house that is not your own? Let the sight of a dead man be a teacher for you concerning your departure from hence.” This is one way to process all of the violence we see in the news, and all of the falsehood ever present to tempt us. It has nothing to do with us, no hold on us. Let us then welcome into our home and holiday the Holy Child, God’s only Son, born to redeem and remake us, and summon us back to Him. Nothing of Christmas makes any sense without Jesus and everything about this day and season comes together unto peace with Him. Just ask Joseph and Mary. Do. That would be your family Rosary this evening, at the end of a day which has seen the birth of the great little One lift earth to Heaven, and stoop Heaven to earth.

Blessed Christmas! Come back a bit this week!
—Bishop Dolan

P.S. Early and many thanks to the elves who transformed our church into a Christmas wonderland, to singers and servers, and priests and people, and bakers (great Bake Sale!) and cooks and cleaners and the rest. Merry Christmas!