During this special season, hymns and carols retell the Christmas story.
We hear about Mary and the baby in the manger. We hear about the Shepherds and the Three Kings and even a heavenly host of angels.
What about Joseph? How does he fit into the story of Christmas? Joseph is a very important person but he is often silent, in the background, taking care of essential things.
When I think about my Josephite brothers serving in parishes, schools and special ministries all across the county I see much of St. Joseph in them.
They lead parish communities and lift up new leaders for our church and communities. They teach the faith with words and deeds. They offer inspiration to children, comfort to the elderly and inspiration to their parishioners.
Every day, Josephites go about their work quietly, prayerfully and successfully. God bless every Josephite for his ministry. They are a gift to our church, the communities they serve and to our society of Josephites.
You also are a gift. I am grateful for your prayers and support that sustains us as we go about our mission in the African American community. This Christmas I take comfort and joy in knowing that so many are sharing their gifts with us.
Please know that you and your special intentions will be remembered in the Josephite Christmas Masses.
At the first Christmas, a Holy Night, the stars were brightly shining, according to a popular hymn. It is my Christmas wish that wherever you are, the stars are brightly shining for you.
Because of you, we can join the choir of angels in singing Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to all people.
Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with hope.
Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ