Fr. Jim’s Christmas Card

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

May the Lord give you peace!

A new church year, another season of Advent has commenced.

Because of the on-going assault of the Coronavirus, we are hearing words like;
“this may be the darkest of winters.” These words do not seem to connect with the
Advent and Christmas seasons which celebrate light and hope.

We live in chaotic and challenging times. Our minds are filled with worry about
health concerns. We want to be with family, friends, neighbors, but our health
experts ask us to keep our distance for protection. Our hearts may feel a little
distant, but I believe we can joyfully experience the season of Advent and
Christmas. One way is to spend some time alone. This time can allow us to grow
in our appreciation of the many blessings that surround our families and us.

We meet the Prophet Isaiah during Advent. He leaves us with some important
questions to ponder: “Are we a people who walk in darkness, unable to see the
light of God’s love around us? Are we a people covered by thick clouds of doubt
and fear?”

Despite the prediction of a “dark winter”, we are challenged by the many voices
of Advent to stand as sentinels searching for light and goodness. This is a time of
great emotional stress. We realize how differently we are being asked to celebrate
the upcoming holiday. Rather than focus on the restrictions to our family
gatherings, we have the ability to see this holiday as a time to create new
traditions and value our relationships in new and amazing ways.

A global pandemic cannot isolate us from one another. The message of Christ’s
birth into our world opens up the world to hear the message of the angels,
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.”

The pictures on the front cover of this note card were captured during my visitation
to the Franciscan Mission in Jamaica, just two weeks before COVID-19 struck. It
is shocking to see long lines of people in the United States waiting for food and we
have the resources to feed millions each day. But many countries do not. Our friars
in Jamaica live among some of the poorest people in the world. Yet they are there
to feed hundreds each day. But, they need your help. Please help us support our
Franciscan brothers in serving God’s poor in Jamaica.

Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to all people of good will.

Peace and good!

 

 

Fr. Jim Gannon,

Provincial Minister

 

 

Click the card above to read the PDF/printable version of the letter.