Internet Edition Issue 8
Bishop's Christmas Message
2005 Social Justice Sunday Statement-A Summary
2005 Social Justice Sunday Statement -
Launch Address by Mr Phil Glendenning
2005 Social Justice Sunday Statement-
Response to the Launch Address by Sr Patty Fawkner SGS
From the Office of Justice,
Ecology & Peace
Marcello Bianchini-A Man with a Generous Heart
Bishop's Christmas Message
The Miracle of Christmas –
Knowing that you are loved
Mention to almost anyone that Christmas is just around the corner and they’ll gasp with astonishment and tell you how it’s sneaked up on them yet again….
The first Christmas certainly took Mary and Joseph by surprise. They had much to do too…. There was the challenge of a long journey to Bethlehem to fulfil the requirements of the law. They had a child due any day and they had nowhere to stay. With the gratitude of those who have next to nothing to their name they accepted joyfully the stable with its accompanying menagerie, earthen floors and ordinary farm yard smells. No king was ever born into such impoverished surroundings. There was little to recommend this accommodation with its zero star rating but it was a roof over their heads and a windbreak from the winter chill. Keeping up appearances was certainly not a concern for the Son of Man as his family generated all the warmth and comfort you could ask for in an otherwise appalling situation. The Holy Family knew great joy in simplicity and solidarity. Indeed, the Star of Bethlehem was the only one that rated in their lives.
I suggest that now would be the right time to set our priorities for the celebration of Christmas this year. I offer the following:
1. Be determined to put Christ back into Christmas. Focus on the feast as faith/belief event: a holy time, not just a public holiday.
2. Establish a renewed pattern of praying leading into Christmas. Share more family prayers, remember to say Grace before and after meals, go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, read and pray through a passage of Holy Scripture every day, attend daily Mass whenever you can during Advent.
3. Get the Family together and discuss how you can make Christmas a simple affair for everyone. Reduce gift giving to one present only per person – keep it simple and inexpensive. Donate an amount to charity to help others.
4. Make Christmas Dinner special by inviting someone you know who otherwise will be alone or send around a meal to somebody who needs it. But keep it simple and inexpensive.
5. If you send Christmas Cards then make sure that they are to do with an appropriate religious theme, for example the Birth of Jesus, the Visit of the Magi etc. Christmas should not be trivialised by cheap commercial motifs. Christmas means the Christ-Mass.
6. Go to Church together as a family this Christmas. Remember to give thanks to almighty God for sending Jesus into the world so that we can know that we are loved.
I pray that the peace of Christmas and God’s choicest blessings will be with you and your family always.
+ Christopher Saunders
Bishop of Broome