From our pastor Father Neil Herlihy

 
Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Vatican Radio reported that in a homily our Holy Father Pope Francis challenged families to pray together and to live lives of Christian witness.  He spoke of the Christian family as an institution that prays, keeps faith, and experiences joy.  He reflected on the joy of living as a Christian family.  He stated, “The family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally.”  He added, “That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society.”  Tomorrow we start the New Year, and the New Year provides us with a great opportunity to accept the invitation and challenge of Our Holy Father to more effectively live our faith and set a good example as a family unit.

Tomorrow we also celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.  The Church offers Mary as a model of love in its fullness.  Our Church scholars remind us that the love she had for Jesus and Joseph is not reserved for them alone.  It is the same precious love that she has for us, the same precious love she shares with us, an unselfish love that we should not take for granted.  As we celebrate this great feast, and as we look to Mary as our model, we are challenged to resolve to follow her example and strive to be more unselfish in our love of God, our love of prayer, and our love of our families.  In essence, we are invited to respond in generous love and embrace a true sense of family unity.

The following prayer, called the “WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES PRAYER”, reflects this call for family unity and fidelity:

G OD AND FATHER OF US ALL,IN JESUS, YOUR SON AND OUR SAVIOR,
YOU HAVE MADE US YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS IN THE FAMILY OF THE CHURCH.
MAY YOUR GRACE AND LOVE HELP OUR FAMILIES IN EVERY PART OF THE WORLD
BE UNITED TO ONE ANOTHER IN FIDELITY TO THE GOSPEL
MAY THE EXAMPLE OF THE HOLY FAMILY, WITH THE AID OF YOUR HOLY SPIRIT,
GUIDE ALL FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE MOST TROUBLED, TO BE HOMES OF COMMUNION AND PRAYER
AND TO ALWAYS SEE YOUR TRUTH AND LIVE IN YOUR LOVE.
THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.  JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH, PRAY FOR US.

May Our Lord continue to bless you and your families as the New Year begins.

 
 
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