As I celebrate my first Christmas as Bishop of Tyler I wanted to greet all of you and assure you of my prayers during this holy season.
As you can imagine it is exciting to return to the Cathedral this evening for my first Midnight Mass as bishop. I have celebrated many midnight masses at the Cathedral through the years, as an assistant priest, as rector of the Cathedral, concelebrating with Bishop Corrada and now as bishop. The Cathedral is always beautiful for Christmas and I look forward to this wonderful liturgy. Christmas is such a busy time for all of us that it is easy to forget what it is all about. I pray that where ever you are this Christmas that you take the opportunity to go to mass and celebrate the birth of Our Lord. I was always mystified as a kid by the reality that many believing Christians don’t go to church to celebrate Christmas. The liturgical basis of our worship as Catholics helps us to stay rooted in the basic events of salvation that have unfolded for us all. I know that many of you have a tradition of inviting non-Catholics to join us for our Christmas masses especially for Midnight Mass. I encourage you to continue that tradition. There is no limit to what God can accomplish in all of our lives when we open our hearts to the truth of His saving plan. Let us pray that all Christians, Catholic or not, may grow in a deeper contemplation of the wonders God has done for us as we celebrate Christmas 2012.
Sincerely in Christ’s Name,
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