Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you, your family and friends! At this time of the year, when we share gifts with those whom we love, I would like to include a Christmas gift and extend a special invitation to you and your family.
My gift is an image of the Holy Family — Jesus, Mary and Joseph — along with a prayer (see page 3). On Sunday, Dec. 27, the Feast of the Holy Family, I invite you and the members of your family to pray the attached prayer and dedicate your home and family to the Holy Family. By praying this dedication prayer, you are simply asking for a special blessing upon your home; that every member of your family may be filled with the same quality of love that exists in the Holy Family.
As Christmas nears, we remember that God loves us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to be a part of our human family. When we pray at home, with each other or for others, we invite God’s love into our lives. Jesus lives among us and makes our home, whether we live by ourselves or with others, a place of love and faith.
During this season, I highly encourage you and your family to engage in regular prayer together and to attend Sunday Mass at your parish or a parish near you. On the first Christmas, Jesus came to us in the manger at Bethlehem. Today, Jesus comes to us most fully at Mass. Instead of the manger, Jesus is at the altar, feeding us with his Word and his Body in the Eucharist.
I also encourage you to read and pray with the Bible.
As the famous saying goes, “the family that prays together stays together.” We are one family — the Catholic faith and love unites us all. As the spiritual father of our diocese, I pray for you. If you have a specific prayer request, please write it and send it to me so I can pray for your intention during the coming year.
May God bless you and all of the families and households of our diocese, as I remain,
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
+ Most Rev. David L. Ricken, DD, JCL
Bishop of Green Bay
P.S. If you are able, please join me as I celebrate Christmas Eve Mass at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, in Green Bay, or watch the Mass that night on WFRV-TV at 9 p.m.