I pray that this Christmas season is a time of peace and joy for you, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior — when the light of God’s grace shone brightly on the human family.
As St. John writes in the prologue to his Gospel: “through Him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Our Catholic priests manifest the light of Christ through their dedicated lives of leadership, in offering the sacraments, and in promoting the works of charitable service.
They carry this grace into the world, inspiring entire communities with God’s word and bringing hope for salvation.
This is an incredible responsibility, and I ask that you please keep our priests always in your prayers and remember them during this holy season of giving.
Our diocese is currently conducting a special collection for the education of our seminarians and for the care of our infirm priests. These are two very important needs.
We are blessed to have seven seminarians who are in formation to serve our diocese in priestly service. Please keep them in your prayers — and also pray that more men will hear God’s call to join them on the path to the Priesthood.
Today, two-thirds of the priests in our diocese are 55 or older — and nearly a quarter of our diocesan priests are more than 65 years old.
While we are fortunate to have good health among our priests, we also have priests in our diocese who are ailing.
Our special Christmas collection will help care for the needs of our priests when they are infirm. I thank you for your continued generosity and support for them.
Looking ahead, please also continue to pray for our priests as they lead our parishes during an exciting time of transformation for our diocese, following the Holy Spirit and reflecting the light of God across our diocese.
In the coming year, we will fully unify our approach to stewardship — helping us grow in our faith through greater participation and the sharing of our many gifts.
Our deaneries are also moving forward with Shaping our Future Together, a process that will help ensure that every Catholic belongs to a thriving parish — setting us on a solid foundation for our future.
We also look forward to the reopening of our great Cathedral of St. Joseph in the next year — a symbol of our transformation as a Catholic community.
The renovation of our spiritual home represents our work to grow in faith as we follow the Holy Spirit and reflect the light of Christ throughout our beloved Diocese of Jefferson City.
We have so much to look forward to in the coming year — and we thank God for what will bring us closer together as a diocese: the promotion of the spirituality of stewardship; the deanery discernment process, Shaping our Future Together; and the celebration this spring of the dedication of the newly renovated Cathedral.
We are indeed Better Together.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, I pray that every one of you may experience the light of God — and also share that light with others.
Thank you for all you do as members of our Catholic community.
Be a light in the darkness.
May God bless you, and Merry Christmas to you and your families.