Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Heaven and Earth rejoice as we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ!
Each year we decorate, send Christmas greetings, gather our families, and come to our Churches to relive the story of the birth of a little child outside the city of Bethlehem. Our memories are filled with the images of icons of the birth, Christmas trees decorated, and beautiful Christmas lights which light up the inside and outside of our homes during the longest nights of the year. We include those with whom we celebrated in the past and who are present with us in spirit when we sing our songs of Christmas.
It is also a time we remember those who are in need this Christmas season. Like Mary and Joseph, who were without a home on the first Christmas, many families struggle to survive.
During the fall hurricane season, many families lost everything. We are thankful for those who helped them through donations and collections to enable them to start over. Even though our parishes are small and often in need, the people of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh generously gave to help them rebuild their lives so that they could celebrate this Christmas season with hope.
During the quiet evening and peace that comes after presents are opened and the Christmas meals have been served, we give thanks for God’s gifts to us and to our families. We give thanks for being preserved from the disasters and challenges of the last year. If it has been a difficult year for you, we give thanks for the ability to recover and rebuild our lives. And, we give thanks for those who remained faithful as they have gone before us into eternal life.
As we give and receive gifts, we remember that our gifts are a reflection of the greatest gift, God’s gift of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ. From the birth of a little child in a manger, we receive the vision from God of how to live our lives. All of our efforts to help our families and friends brighten our world and give us hope and joy of the life to come. The Byzantine Catholic Church thanks you for your help and generous service during the past year. We hope and pray to continue to serve you in the New Year.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend William C. Skurla, D.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh