My Dear Venerable Brothers,
Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt good wishes to you on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Because Christ is God in our midst, we have confidence in asking him to bless us throughout this Christmas, comforting us with the consoling tenderness of His presence. As we move toward 2017, it is fitting that we begin with celebrations that are integral to life and liberty in contemporary society.
The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and the World Day of Peace on January 1 provides us an opportunity to reflect on the strife felt in our nations and communities around the world. There can be no better way than to start off the year in steadfast prayer for peace. In 1968, Pope Paul VI reminded us succinctly, “The world must be educated to love Peace, to build it up and defend it.” Almost half a century later, Pope Francis urges us—families, faith communities, government leaders, and the international community—to practice nonviolence and to work to build a just peace. The Holy Father urges us to live out our faith by doing what Christ impels us.
Gracious Lady Kanobia and I sincerely wish you and all those whom you love, a sacred Christmas, rich in the wisdom of God’s love for you and rich in the peace of God’s overwhelming care for you. May the next year bring about a serious conversion of hearts throughout the world.
With fraternal gratitude for your beatific work,
Fredron DeKarlos Blackmon
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