A very Blessed Christmas and New Year! I want to thank you for all the support that you have given to St Joseph’s Parish this past year. We have many things to be grateful for not the least of which is the many graces that we receive each day from our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the light in our life and certainly the light in our parish.  

One of my favorite phrases in scripture is from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.” (Isaiah 9:1).  We don’t have to look far to see the darkness that seems to envelop our world be it the fires in California, the crisis of immigration and those who have left everything to find a new future, the abuse crisis that has so sorely affected the Church, the insecurity of so many parts of our world, and many other things.  Yet, we believe that those times of darkness will not obscure the light of Christ. We believe this truth not only regarding great events but also with respect to our own personal life. Even when we feel as though we are in the darkness the light of Christ can shine in our heart.  

In his reflections on the Christmas message Pope Benedict in speaking about the star of Bethlehem says, “The story of the wise man’s star makes a similar point: it is not the star that determines the child’s destiny, it is the child that directs the star.” In other words, Jesus, fully human and fully divine is greater than everything that can seem to be against it.  

I pray that the light of the child Jesus, which illuminates the world, will illuminate your life and the life of your family.  The angels tell the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy…For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.”  Allow the light of Christ to fill your hearts and live not with fear but with hope and confidence in the love of Jesus Christ.  

Thank you so much for all that you have given to St Joseph’s in this past year. 

Peace, 

Msgr Bernie Schmitz