5th Day of Christmas
Memorial of St. Thomas Becket – Bishop & Martyr
5th day: Merry Christmas! Today is the 5th day of the Christmas season.Martyrs: Jesus was born to suffer and die for us. His supreme martyrdom continues in the Church, as even this week of Christmas is filled with martyrdom. On December 26, we celebrate St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church. On December 28, we celebrate the Holy Innocents, those babies killed by order of Herod. And today, we celebrate St. Thomas Beckett, who reminds us that we must choose God’s ways above the opinions of the world.
Calendar: Lots of wonderful liturgical celebrations in January:December 31: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and JosephJanuary 1: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of GodJanuary 7: Feast of the EpiphanyJanuary 8: Feast of the Baptism of the LordJanuary 9: Ordinary Time beginsJanuary 21: Word of God Sunday
Revival: The national Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis is set for July 17 – 21. Please consider attending. You can register at the eucharisticcongress.org website.
Pilgrimage: I am leading a pilgrimage for peace on January 6. We’ll begin with Mass at St. Mary’s Parish in Glasco at 8 am followed by a procession to St. John’s in Beloit. This has a “Visitation” theme to it as well. Mary, with Child, visited her cousin Elizabeth and the baby, John the Baptist, leapt in her womb. Anyone is invited to join me on the pilgrimage for the whole or part of the pilgrimage. The next day, January 7, I will bless St. John the Baptist Church in Beloit.Life: January 22 is the Day of Prayer for the Protection of Unborn Children. The National March for Life in Washington D.C. is on January 19. The Ignite Rally and Mass for Life in Topeka is set for January 24.
MLK: A man who stood for life for all people is Martin Luther King, Jr. The federal holiday in memory of his life is January 15
Blessings: On December 18, the Vatican issued the declaration Fiducia Supplicans: On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings. It’s been somewhat controversial. Please read the document—it’s only 45 paragraphs long. My comments on the document can be found HERE.
Renewal: I look forward to being with our priests for clergy renewal days from January 15 – 18 at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita.
Charity: I am super excited to bless the new Catholic Charities building in Hays on Friday, January 26.First: On January 27, the new Office of Young Adult Ministry is hosting its first young adult event at the Sullivan Center in Salina. Anyone aged 18–35 is invited. RSVPs are requested but not required to attend.
Week of Joy: I am so much looking forward to being in our Catholic Schools the week of January 29–February 2 for Catholic Schools Week.
Our Bodies: The next issue of faith magazine comes out in a few weeks. The content focuses on the Theology of the Body. I hope all of you will take time to read it.2024: May 2024 bring abundant blessings to you and your family, especially the blessing of rain and moisture for our farmers.
In Christ’s love and prayers,
Inspiration from the Saints:St. Francis DeSales feast day is January 24. His writings are filled with practical wisdom for the ordinary person.“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”
“Be who you are and be that well.”
“Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me but in me and I in Him.'”
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.”