Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Advent and Christmas, as we enter our 175th anniversary as an archdiocese, we have been continually blessed with many gifts from God: the daily gift of life, new additions to our families, sacramental celebrations and milestones, and finding more ways, big or small, to be closer to God. In this season, may we embrace the spirit of giving and sharing with our loved ones.
In the spirit of giving and sharing, we think of family first. Whether it be immediate family, friends, or our Catholic community, the importance of family has been, and will continue to be, the focus of our archdiocesan family as we move into the New Year.
We see God’s love for us in the Holy Family. Carrying precious cargo, these loving parents remained faithful to God. Even in the midst of great danger and personal sacrifice, Mary and Joseph put Jesus first. What a wonderful example to always remember to put our Savior first, and place our families in His care — where they will be forever blessed.
We also see God’s love in our surroundings, which have been “the face of God” in southeastern Wisconsin for 175 years. As our archdiocesan historian, Fr. Steven Avella, writes: “Catholicism manifests itself in words and deeds of charity, in care for the poor and helpless, in education for children and adults, and also in brick and mortar. The presence of the Catholic Church in any community can often be seen by examining the skyline. Church steeples vault into the air, large portions of urban or rural ground are set aside for churches, residences for clergy and sisters, and hospitals. In these locations, Catholics believe men and women see the face of God.”
As we begin to reflect on 175 years of our Church family in southeastern Wisconsin, please be sure to take time to treasure your family during this very special season. The ability to give love and to receive love is the greatest gift we can share as followers of Christ. Through Christ, we are one family.
May peace and joy be with you this Christmas, and throughout the New Year.
I Am, Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee