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The Joy of Christmas, and the Hope of the New Year

My Dear Family in Christ- MERRY CHRISTMAS!


How long am I allowed to say that? Despite what the mainstream might imply, the Celebration of Our Saviour’s Birth does not end December 26th. In fact, it’s just begun!


We, the Church, rejoice in the glory of Christmas most intensely in the 8 days that follow (the ‘Octave’ of Christmas), and the Christmas season lasts all the way until the Baptism of Our Lord(this year we will celebrate it on January 9). Traditionally, the Christmas season extends even beyond this to the feast of the Presentation of the Lord(aka Candlemas)on February 2. The point is, Christmas is a beautiful season in the Church- and it doesn’t end on December 26!


On another front, we begin the New Year with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. I don’t know how fashionable it is to make New Years resolutions anymore, but it’s a beautiful practice when done with God. A sincere resolution is an act of Hope- but it can be hard to make one.


My advice? Pick one thing- not two, not ten, not a hundred- one thing. Talk to God about it, invite Him not only to be part of the discussion but to take the lead, and respond with courage and confidence. He’s on your side, and so am I. This year, my ‘one thing’ is to read and study the Catechism of the Catholic Church; that by deepening my knowledge of God, I may better love Him- and more importantly, know His love for me more deeply.


If this sounds like something that might interest you, you are invited to join myself and other parishioners who have already signed by sending me an email at fr.daniel@scapular.ca. We will be journeying with thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world in the Catechism-In-A-Year study- a daily walk through the Catechism beginning January 1. This will be available in podcast form, and it is totally free. If you don’t have a copy of the Catechism, or don’t know what a podcast or a Catechism is, or if you have any other questions, it is my duty and joy to help.


Yours in the Hope of the New Year, and still the Joy of Christmas,

Father Daniel

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