Very Rev. James PowersMy Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I pray that Our Lord Jesus will come into your life with His blessings of love, peace, and hope.  The seasons of Advent and Christmas are full of memories and sentiment for us all. May this year’s celebration of the season add happy and treasured experiences of God’s grace and human love to your list of good and happy memories.

This past year has been a different one for our diocese for several reasons. It is the first time in over 50 years that we have not had a bishop or a bishop as administrator.  Then, on September 21, our beloved Bishop Fliss went to his eternal reward.  The one constant through it all was the presence of the Light of Christ shining brightly for all.

In the words of one of Bishop Fliss’ last Christmas messages, “The placement of Jesus’ birth in the heart of winter’s darkness becomes an annual reminder that the Divine Light is always available to us, even when it seems hidden in life’s darkest moments. We Christian people are called to announce this truth every day of our lives, but especially whenever the darkness appears overwhelming.  My prayer for all of us this Christmas is that we learn to trust in the Light that abides among us. May we eagerly seek and always find this Light, our Lord Jesus Christ, especially in the darkest times of our lives.”

May the Light of Christ shine bright in the hearts of you and your loved ones this Christmas season, and as we enter into the Year of Mercy may you know and feel the compassion and mercy of our God as never before.

God’s blessings to all,

Bishop-elect James P. Powers