Christmas Message 2002

Dear Friends:

Christmas brings people together. The exchange of cards conveys ongoing concern for one another.

Carols express the joys of living, especially when sung in groups. The lights of the season illumine family and community. Christmas parties carry an extra esprít. Christmas lends added affection to the exchange of gifts.

There is another side. Separations are felt all the more keenly at Christmas time. The memories of Christmas past become ever more poignant.

These experiences and memories, with others and alone, help us to realize the heart of the matter. The decisive opening of the human heart is the opening to God.

Winter is upon us. Days are short, nights are long, both are cold. Christmas warms us with a radiance suggesting the Divine.

May your Christmas be merry, prayerful, and holy. May Christmas Mass be the center of your celebration.

Most Rev. Henry J. Mansel
Bishop of Buffalo
December 17, 2002