I pray for all that the grace of the Christmas message will brighten our lives, renew our faith and strengthen our bonds of friendship. May the Peace of Christ dwell in our hearts.

My dear friends,

In this Christmas season I extend a warm greeting to you and your family. I offer special greetings to those spending their first Christmas in this diocese.

We all think of family members overseas and keep them in our prayers. Wherever your family members find themselves this Christmas, may it be for all of us a time of blessing and peace.

Christ the bringer of Peace

This year in the diocese we are focusing on the message of peace that is at the heart of Christmas. In our Christmas liturgies we proclaim Christ as the bringer of peace, we know him as the true light of the world, the light that darkness could not overpower (John 1:5).

This Christmas message is so important to us because there are times when we dont have a sense of true peace in our lives. We can feel overshadowed by worries and difficulties. Even in the midst of a busy world, we can feel alone.

It is into this world that the Lord has come.

The humble manger scene reveals Gods love for us in all its powerful simplicity. Each Christmas, we take great heart that whatever the darkness of our winter nights, the Lord provides true solace, a new dawn.

“Need to Talk?”

At the beginning of Advent, we were very happy as a diocese to launch an awareness campaign called Need to Talk? This initiative is an expression of our care for the whole community.

It is based on a concern, reflected in many studies, that all too often people experiencing a personal crisis do not avail of any professional help. Our message is that asking for help is a real strength.

As a Christian community, we are called to reflect the healing and hope that the Lord offers to us. The liturgy and prayer of the Church are invaluable supports for us as we encounter the inevitable trials of life.

The Christian vision of life is well expressed in the great prayer of St Francis which begins Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. While the prayer speaks of injury, doubt, despair, darkness, sadness there is a wonderful sense that with the Lords help pardon, faith, hope, light and joy are still possible.

There is a real need in todays society not to measure who we are in the narrow terms of success and failure. Not to condemn ourselves all too quickly as somehow being beyond redemption.

New Beginning of Bethlehem

One of the great strengths of our Church is that we embrace the truth that we move through different seasons in our lives. The yearly cycle of our liturgies helps us to find this deeper harmony. Each Christmas we rejoice in the new beginning of Bethlehem.

I pray for all that the grace of the Christmas message will brighten our lives, renew our faith and strengthen our bonds of friendship. May the Peace of Christ dwell in our hearts.

Jim Moriarty
Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin