Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Faith Seeking Understanding for January 29, 2006

According to some of our ancient religious and cultural traditions, this week is when the Christmas season finally ended. The feast of the Presentation of the Lord, on February 2nd, traditionally marked the last day of the Christmas season. Even though we usually wonder whether the groundhog will foretell six more weeks of winter on this day, remembering the theological importance of the Presentation (or “Candlemas” as it was often called) can allow us to briefly rekindle the joy of Christmas in our homes once again.
This feast recalls the end of the “time of purification,” required by the Mosaic law for a woman who had given birth to a son; forty days after Christ’s birth, Mary and Joseph brought the child Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, in order to offer sacrifice to Yahweh. This story is retold in the Luke 2:22-40. At the Temple, they offered the prescribed sacrifice, and encountered Simeon and Anna, receiving prophecies about the Child. Traditionally, candles are blessed on this day, signifying the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem; God has truly visited His people and has made His dwelling in our midst.
The Church’s Night Prayer (or compline) canticle (Nunc Dimmitis) also comes from this encounter in the Temple. After holding the Christ-child, Simeon responds with a beautiful prayer that has been used for centuries to end the Liturgical day: “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
We also celebrate the famous founder of the Salesians, St. John Bosco, on January 31st. Don Bosco, as he is commonly known, was born in 1815, and died on January 31, 1888. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934. He is most famous for his care for the poor and abandoned youth, who were often forced to work in the factories, and had no education. Don Bosco taught the children, housed the orphans, and cared for their spiritual needs. He organized the Salesian Society (named for St. Francis de Sales) to continue this important charitable work, which continues the care of youth today.
St. John Bosco continually stressed the importance of regular Communion and Confession, and always ensured that the youth attended Mass on Sundays. As we continue to reflect on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Dies Domini we are reminded of the importance of the Sunday rest. Christ enters into the definitive “Sabbath Rest” of Heaven through His resurrection; we are therefore called to re-examine the meaning of creation in light of its eternal destiny. The Sabbath rest of the Covenant of Creation foretells and prefigures the final and eternal Covenant.
The Pope connects the “rest” after the Creation story with the Salvation of His People: “The God who rests on the seventh day, rejoicing in his creation, is the same God who reveals his glory in liberating his children from Pharaoh's oppression. Adopting an image dear to the Prophets, one could say that in both cases God reveals himself as the bridegroom before the bride” (no. 12). Our Sunday “rest” is found in the context of creation and redemption. Our new Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has just published his first encyclical, entitled Deus Caritas est – God is Love. It is available at May God bless you abundantly this week and always!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Deus Caritas Est

I'm in the middle of reading our Holy Father's first Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. I strongly encourage everyone to dig into Pope Benedict XVI's thought. This meditation on the mystery of human and divine love is truly an excellent place to begin; even if it's intimidating, the Pope's style is profound but accessible.

As another item, please visit They're struggling financially -- and they provide a wealth of excellent Catholic resources. Please contribute if you can.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Homily for Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.

Today's Mass speaks strongly of repentance: whether Jonah in the first reading or our Lord in the Gospel, it is clear that the message of "metanoia," of changing our hearts and minds is central to God's saving action in our lives. Yet receiving the message of repentance is not an easy one; I am sure that any of you who have been corrected haven't found it easy or simply to accept the need to change.

Seminary is a difficult place for precisely that reason. The priests and professors charged with forming men to be priests are constantly looking to help improve the qualities of each seminarian; this makes for a tough go of it, however, when it seems as though "everyone has something against me." My University, Franciscan University, also had the blessing to be a place where everyone considered it his or her duty to correct a brother or sister when they weren't living the Gospel to its fullness.

I remember one occasion in particular in which a friend of mine addressed a pretty harsh criticism: "Andy, you're selfish and proud; you really need to consider others. You're not the most important person in the room." After three or four days of fuming and anger -- and prayer -- I realized the truth of the statement, and began to ask for the grace of true repentance: changing my heart and mind.

Wherever the call to repentance comes from -- whether a friend or an enemy -- we need to prepare our hearts in humility to accept the message. The Assyrians were enemies of the Jews; yet Jonah was called to preach conversion to Nineveh, which is near modern-day Mosul, in Iraq. It was a great city, but it heard the call to repentance without delay, even though it was delivered by an enemy. Everyone, whether guilty or not, from greatest to least, began the fast and covered themselves with sackcloth. We don't know what the sin was, but we do know that God's purpose was merciful: he spared Nineveh.

Our nation is in need of similar repentance today. We need to hear the Gospel call to repent of our nation's complicity in the greatest evil of our day, an evil that was extended as a Constitutional right 33 years ago today. In 1973, the Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton enshrined the "right" to abortion with Constitutional protection throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Since then, nearly 46 million children have been legally killed in our great nation.

Such numbers stagger the mind, but maybe we can think in terms we can understand. If we consider the Big House in Ann Arbor, holding over 100,000 fans for each home game, and six home games each season, the crowds of 70 seasons total about 46 million. These children have been killed legally, and yet our outcry remains small. As Catholics in particular, we need to heed the call to repentance and conversion, particularly for this great evil in our midst.

We need to "change our minds" and hearts in every area of our lives: do our purchases support abortion providers? Do our investments? Do we accept abortion as a political fact? Or are we, in fact, willing to change the way we view the political landscape and demand an end to the legalized killing of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters? Can we break free of the common way of thinking and see the truth of abortion as an horrific attack on the dignity of the human person?

Each of us has been given inherent dignity by God -- not by the state, not by our parents, or by doctors, but by God -- and we must respect this dignity with absolute care. The Gospel call to repent means to embrace the fullness of the truth, including the difficult truths of working to end injustice, even when it has become culturally accepted.

And then, perhaps we need to repent of the way we treat mothers in difficult pregnancies -- do we shun them? Criticize or ridicule single mothers, instead of helping them with food and clothing and shelter? Do we offer the open arms of Christ's forgiveness to women suffering from the effects of abortion? Or do we send them away without any hope, closing the door of repentance?

Jonah was sent to Nineveh to offer the hope of repentance. We look at the Cross and see our Lord's even more generous offer of His own life in exchange for our sins. Are we prepared to repent and transform our lives to make abortion unthinkable? And illegal?

The bishops of the United States have declared tomorrow, Monday, January 23, 2006, a national day of penance for the scourge of abortion in our nation. I encourage all of you to fast and to pray for this cause, and to examine each of our lives to see where Christ is calling us to repent and follow Him more deeply, especially with regard to this critical issue of our day.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Faith Seeking Understanding for January 22, 2006

Before we continue our exploration of Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Dies Domini, we should reflect on the importance of the saints’ feast days this week. On Tuesday, January 24, the Church remembers St. Francis de Sales, bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church. Wednesday, January 25, is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, recalling the monumental event described in Acts 9, and retold in Acts 22. St. Paul’s encounter with the Risen Christ along the road to Damascus is a crucial moment in the life of the early Church. Thursday, we celebrate the Bishops Timothy and Titus, companions of St. Paul and recipients of three “pastoral” epistles. Finally, on Saturday, January 28th, the Church remembers the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Francis de Sales was born in 1567 and died in 1622 in Lyons, France. He is most famous for his preaching of the Catholic Faith during some of the most difficult years of the Protestant Reformation, and is credited for helping many Catholics to persevere in their faith and converting many Calvinists back to the Catholic Faith. Among the great legacy of teaching that he left to the Church is The Introduction to the Devout Life. Still in print, this book recalls the truth that every man, woman, and child is called to a life of holiness by God; every vocation is a path to sanctity, if only we accept the invitation from our Lord. The Introduction is one of my favorite books, and I would encourage everyone to read and benefit from its wisdom.
The great Dominican, Saint Thomas Aquinas, was born at Rocca Secca around 1225; after a life of great teaching, preaching, and manifest holiness, he died at the Abbey of Fossa Nuova in 1274, while traveling to the Council of Lyons. St. Thomas is the patron saint of Catholic universities, colleges, and schools. The Church is deeply indebted to him for his great wisdom and understanding, as well as the systematized manner in which he organized the teachings of the Church. He is most famous for the comprehensive Summa Theologica, which uses the Scholastic form of questions and objections to teach and elaborate on nearly every aspect of Catholic Theology. St. Thomas also is widely known for his commentaries on the works of Aristotle, and for using Aristotelian philosophy in analyzing the truths of the Faith.
Thankfully, St. Thomas also left marvelous homilies which are more easily understood and which remind us that St. Thomas is not a saint because he knew and understood much about Jesus Christ, but he knew and loved Jesus Christ himself. When we cultivate a deep understanding about the Catholic faith, using our God-given intellects to wrestle with the truths of Faith, we also help dispose our wills to love God more. May St. Thomas inspire us to learn more about our Faith, but also intercede for us before the heavenly throne, that in our studies and learning we would grow more deeply in the Theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.
St. Thomas always referred theology to prayer, and to real life; Pope John Paul II reminds us that “real life” always in turn refers back to Jesus Christ, in Whose image we are created, and by Whom we are redeemed. As such, he tells us in Dies Domini, 7, “The rediscovery of [Sunday] is a grace which we must implore, not only so that we may live the demands of faith to the full, but also so that we may respond concretely to the deepest human yearnings. Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human.”
May God bless you abundantly this week and always!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Faith Seeking Understanding for Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Sorry this is a few days late.

Faith Seeking Understanding for January 15, 2006

Today’s Gospel directs our attention to Jesus Christ in a striking way, thanks to the startling words of St. John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Unlike the preparations for Christmas, when we hear John “preparing the way of the Lord,” and preaching repentance in the desert, today’s message is the perfect one to begin “Ordinary Time.” We focus our attention now, at the beginning of the year, to our savior Jesus Christ.

Truthfully, there is nothing “ordinary” about Ordinary Time. These are simply the “ordinal” Sundays throughout the year that aren’t marked by the Liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter. Since the moment of the Incarnation, however, no time, season, or event is merely “ordinary,” because everything is transformed by the grace of God made man. The green vestments are a constant sign of hope in the Resurrection and the graces given to us through the mysteries of Christ’s passion, death, resurrection, and ascension substantially present in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

This Second Sunday in Ordinary Time is an excellent time to reflect on the importance of Sunday, the “Day of the Lord.” Whether in our work, our play, our families, or our parish, how is Sunday the first day of the week? Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, “on keeping the Lord’s Day holy,” in 1998. In it, the pope reminds us that Sunday “is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of ‘the new creation’ (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world's first day and looks forward in active hope to ‘the last day’, when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Th 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Rev 21:5)” (Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, 1).

As he was preparing the world to celebrate the Great Jubilee of 2000, Pope John Paul II noted that in many places throughout the Church, Sunday had begun to lose its centrality as a day focused on Christ and our salvation. He reminds us, in a gentle but firm manner: “The disciples of Christ, however, are asked to avoid any confusion between the celebration of Sunday, which should truly be a way of keeping the Lord’s Day holy, and the ‘weekend’, understood as a time of simple rest and relaxation. This will require a genuine spiritual maturity, which will enable Christians to ‘be what they are’, in full accordance with the gift of faith, always ready to give an account of the hope which is in them (cf. 1 Pt 3:15). In this way, they will be led to a deeper understanding of Sunday, with the result that, even in difficult situations, they will be able to live it in complete docility to the Holy Spirit” (Dies Domini, 4).

He continues: “Today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday: Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ! Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction. He is the One who knows the secret of time and the secret of eternity, and he gives us ‘his day’ as an ever new gift of his love” (Dies Domini, 7). Stay tuned for more “nuggets” from John Paul on how to keep Sunday holy!

On Friday, January 20, at 7:00 pm, John Hale (from Corporate Travel) and I will give a presentation about the pilgrimage to Italy this October 18-27. The total cost per person is $2599, based on double occupancy. Please come to the presentation for more information, or to express interest.

May God bless you all!

The Crossroads Initiative

Please check out the Crossroads Initiative, by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio. It's a great resource for so many areas of our Catholic life.

Also, for any of you in the Detroit area, we are beginning a Theology of the Body Study Series, entitled "Fully Revealed". We will be reading Redemptor Hominis, C.S. Lewis' Four Loves, and several other texts as a preparation to tackle Love and Responsibility. If you are interested, please e-mail me or Jenny Allen, the group's foundress.

The first meeting will be Tuesday, February 24, 2006, at 7:30 pm, at Spiritus Sanctus Academy (Plymouth).

Monday, January 16, 2006

Homily for Sunday, January 15, 2006

"What are you looking for?"

"WHAT are YOU looking for?"

What are we looking for when we come to Mass, Sunday after Sunday, year after year? What is it that our heart seeks most deeply? And what will we find when we're here?

Is it money, or fame, or power? Or is it attractiveness, pleasure, or "the good life"? Maybe it's friendship, companionship, and a loving family? Whatever the deepest longing of our hearts, we come to the Altar, and discover there not just a temporary remedy for our desires. Instead, we find the "Lamb of God," Jesus Christ Himself, forever united to our human nature so that we can be joined to His Divine nature.

So when we hear those words, "Behold the Lamb of God," whether from John the Baptist or from the priest at Mass, our spine should tingle and our breath should catch in our throats. THE Lamb of God -- no longer the blood of countless goats, sheeps, pigeons, and cattle, incapable of salvation. But THE Lamb, THE Son, freely given in Sacrifice and dwellling with us here under the veil of a Sacrament.

"What are you looking for?"

Sometimes we miss it when we find it: when I was teaching High School (I know, it looks like I should still be IN High School), one of my seniors -- a Lutheran -- asked a really pointed question during a class about the Holy Eucharist. As I was describing the reality of Jesus Christ, really, truly, substantially present after the words of Consecration, I was struggling with how to make the point. The Eucharist isn't bread and wine, I said, but the body, and blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. He's here among us, just the same as when He spoke with the apostles and died upon the Cross.

That's when the student stopped me: "Mr. Bloomfield, if you're saying that Jesus Christ is really present at Mass," - "That's right," I said - "Then why," he continued, "aren't we there every day?"

Why aren't we there every day? What are we looking for? And what have we found, here in the Body of Christ? Jesus Christ, Himself, invites us to Come and See. And once we have "spent the whole day with Him," what can contain our joy? How can our hearts not share the truth of WHOM we have found -- the deepest longing of our hearts -- with all we meet?

St. Andrew responded by first telling his brother Simon Peter. Are we prepared to do the same? When we know that we have found THE Lamb, THE Messiah, do we keep this hidden secret to ourselves? Or do we respond to the grace of St. Andrew and invite others to join us? I'd like to challenge each of us today to bring someone with us to Mass next Sunday. Maybe it's a co-worker, or a friend; maybe a family member is separated from the Church; maybe it's a neighbor, but in all those we know, have we really shared our joy at the truth of the Gospel? Have we found where Jesus is staying, and realized that He has given us Himself?

"What are you looking for?"

Come and see.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Faith Seeking Understanding for January 8, 2006

Merry Christmas! Of course, Christmas day was celebrated two weeks ago, but the Church calendar reminds us that the Christmas season lasts until tomorrow, when we remember the Baptism of the Lord. Even though Christmas trees, carols, and decorations seem to have disappeared, it is important to remember that we continue celebrate Christmas in the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. Why does the Church extend the celebration of this great Feast for four weeks?

The mystery of God becoming man is a central reality of our Faith. Aside from the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ which we celebrate during Holy Week and the Season of Easter, no more important truth about Salvation exists. We need time to reflect and meditate upon the truth that God has become a man; He is now one of us; He shares every aspect of our nature, except for sin. One day – and even one week – is not enough to let the meaning of this truth sink into our hearts. Because once we realize that God has become a man, we can no longer look at each other in the same way: He has not become a man only for the righteous, but for sinners; He has not become a man only for the wealthy, but for the poor; He has not become a man only for the intelligent, or the talented, or the popular, but for every man, woman, and child throughout all of human history.

This is the mystery expressed in today’s Feast. The Epiphany – as you recall from the faith-festival last month – is the revelation of Jesus Christ to the world. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is “the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God, and Savior of the World” (CCC, ¶528). These three realities are expressed in the three events remembered in the Liturgy of Epiphany: the adoration of the Wise Men (magi) from the East, the Baptism in the Jordan, and the miracle at the wedding-feast in Cana. Whether we see the mysterious meanings hidden in the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh; or the testimony of the Baptist and the heavenly voice; or the miraculous transformation of water into wine, we learn something new and profound about Jesus of Nazareth.

We are likewise given a task in each of these three “manifestations” – Christ calls us to, in turn, reveal Him to the nations. We are asked to return to our homes and businesses this week with the joy of the magi at finding the newborn King, to show Him to our families, friends, and associates by our words and deeds that reveal Christ anew. We are reminded by the heavenly voice: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, and by our own baptism, we are His brothers and sisters, heirs to His heavenly Kingdom. Finally, we hear the voice of Mary at the wedding-feast: “Do whatever He tells you.” Are we ready and willing to heed this command?

The mystery of the Epiphany helps us see beyond the appearances of the manger, to the deeper realities that exist. No longer are the few shepherds and chosen citizens of Bethlehem aware of the mysterious Child, but we are all called to adore the Word-made-flesh, and in turn to reveal Him to the world. May this Epiphany help us see beyond the veil that covers our hearts and our souls, to see the hidden Christ-child in the unborn, the poor, the elderly, and the sick, that we might encounter Christ anew.

May God bless you all!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sisters of Mary Vocations Retreats

I have posted about the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist before, but I would like to publicize their vocational discernment retreats that are coming up this year. Such a retreat is an excellent opportunity to rest with the Lord, and spend quiet time away from the hectic and fast-paced lives that can distract us from truly seeking our Lord's will for our lives.

The retreats are for young women high school aged and up, and will be on Feb. 25-26 and May 6-7 at the Sisters' Motherhouse in Ann Arbor. For more information, please email Sister Joseph Andrew at or call the Sisters at (734) 994-7437. Please
continue to pray for the Sisters, especially today as we celebrate the patroness of Catholic Education in the United States, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Total Consecration according to St. Louis de Montfort

In my homilies for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on New Year's Day, I mentioned that no better way exists for us to begin the New Year, than to dedicate ourselves completely to Jesus Christ, through His mother, Mary. I'm sorry that I don't have the homily reproduced here, but I do want to recall the importance of Total Consecration according to St. Louis de Montfort.

Happily, a version exists online here. If you'd like to buy the book, you can check Amazon or here. There are probably more places to find it, so if you've got a better suggestion, please post in the comment box.

Personally, the Total Consecration has meant a great deal to me and my spiritual life. I first made the Consecration about 10 years ago, at Francsican University of Steubenville. As I mentioned in the Homily, if it weren't for this devotion, I sincerely doubt that I would have been ordained a priest. I pray that through this continued devotion, I might yet become a saint.

Please add your experiences with the True Devotion of St. Louis de Montfort in the comments section; and please let us pray for each other as we endeavor to serve Jesus completely through Mary.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Faith Seeking Understanding for January 1, 2006

Today the Church celebrates with great joy the Octave-day of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. We begin our new calendar year in the most fitting way by honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary under this ancient and revered title: Theotokos, the Mother of God. Without Mary’s cooperation with our heavenly Father’s plan, there would be no Incarnation. Without Mary’s “Yes,” we would not celebrate Christmas. Without Mary’s agreement to God’s invitation to be the mother of His Son, God would not share our nature, and we would not receive the promise of Salvation.

The Greek word Theotokos means literally “God-bearer,” although it is most often rendered in English by the phrase “Mother of God.” The Fathers of the Church venerated Mary with this title since the third century, although it was not until the Council of Ephesus in 431 – the third Ecumenical Council of the Church – that this dogma was formally declared. The Council of Ephesus declared Mary Theotokos in response to the heresy of Nestorius, who claimed that Mary was only the “Mother of Christ,” and not the Mother of God. Such a distinction attacked the unity of two natures in the one person of Christ, as well as the privileged role of Mary in the Incarnation.

This dogma of the Faith does not declare Mary to be the source of Christ’s divinity, as such; rather, she is the mother of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Who shares two natures: human and divine. These two natures are substantially united in the one Person of Mary’s Son. As the mother of the one Person who is both God and man, she is the mother of God. Simply put, if Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God.

When the declaration was published after the first session of the Council, the people of Ephesus rejoiced publicly and led the Bishops of the Council through the streets with public praises in honor of the Mother of God. Such joyful acclamation bore eloquent witness to the truth of the Faith that had been held by the Church for centuries.

Why is such a doctrine so important, even today? Why did the Church Fathers (the great Bishops of the Church who taught and defended the Faith in the first six centuries after Christ) spend so much time and energy on what seems to be very simple? Knowing the truth about Jesus Christ is essential in knowing the truth Who is Jesus Christ. Jesus’ divine nature is truly, substantially, and forever united with His human nature. This truth transforms all of creation, because God has become one of us. Had the Son simply “appeared” as a man, or taken over a man’s soul, or anything else short of the mystical union by which His One Person has two natures – human and divine – we could not share in the hope of His victory over sin and death. We could not be saved.

Since 1967, January 1st has also been designated the “World Day for Peace.” By dedicating this year, 2006 A.D., to the Prince of Peace and to His Mother, the Queen of Peace, may we see His peace reign in our hearts and homes, our families and friends, our cities and our nation, and even in our entire world. May this year be for us one of renewed dedication to knowing Jesus Christ and His Mother in an ever deeper and more profound way. And may we not allow our “New Year’s Resolutions” to pass by as vague hopes for a “better” year. We are confident that He is faithful to His promises; let us be faithful to Him, in our daily prayer, in attending Sunday Mass, and by living the Gospel in its fullness. May God bless you richly and abundantly this New Year and always!

Annus Novus!

To quote my beloved professor of Latin, Fr. Reginaldus Foster: Utinam feliciter vobis ut prospere hic annus procedet.

May this new year of 2006 be filled with blessings and grace, finding us drawn closer to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, and serving our Lord and His Church more deeply and sincerely, thereby winning souls for His Kingdom. Each new year brings with it a fresh opportunity for goodness and virtue, reminding us of the need for continued conversion of heart.

In 365 days, it is my hope that we will each have found a greater love for Christ and His Church, able to ponder anew the mysteries of our Faith with the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom we honor today as Mother of God.

God bless you all! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!