Happy New Year 2017

Dear Friends,

At the end of every year we typically look back with a certain sense of relief that the year has come to an end. And we hope and pray that the new year is better than the previous one. This dynamic is especially true as we say goodbye to 2016. Some might even say “good riddance” would be more appropriate for 2016. Many people have observed that 2016 has been a brutal year, especially in light of the many prominent celebrities, artists, musicians, and athletes that have died these past twelve months. These were luminaries that not only helped define particular generations but at times even transcended them. A good and most recent example would be the recent passing of actor and author Carrie Fisher who is best known by many for her various reprisals of the Princess Leia character in the Star Wars franchise. As if that loss wasn’t painful enough, we recoiled even further with pain when we learned Carrie Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, herself a prominent actor, had passed away the following day.

It is appropriate to mourn the loss of many of these famous people. They accomplished much in their lives and they helped pave the way for countless others. But, as we grieve and breathe a sigh of relief as 2016 comes to an end, it’s important to keep a proper perspective.

While 2016 presented many challenges, it also bestowed many blessings we need to give thanks for. We can look back at our own personal lives, our families and friends and see God’s grace continually enriching our lives. We give thanks to God for our marriage, for our children, for the broken relationships that have been restored. We can look back at our own parish and likewise find much to be thankful for, such as our recently completed and successful capital campaign, our ever growing commitment and involvement to our sister parish in Uganda, our successful and newly retooled Religious Education program, and our Lenten Mission and Advent of Prayer series. We can even look even farther beyond our parish and still find more to give thanks to God for in 2016. To begin, there’s the Chicago Cubs and their World Series Championship. How can 2016 be a terrible year when you consider that this past year finally was THE year?

When we prayerfully look back at a year we will always find much to be thankful for as well as much we wish were different. As we begin 2017 let’s pray that we may always have the wisdom of God to recognize the blessings and see the challenges as opportunities for us to grow in holiness.

Happy New Year!

Fr. Sergio Romo

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