This is my last message as Bishop of the Diocese of Manchester and when I thought about what to say what came into my mind are the words of the Mass, “Again, He gave you thanks and praise.” Thanks and praise is as important now as service and outreach. It has been my pleasure to serve you as bishop and I wish to give you my sincerest thanks. I wish also to praise the people of New Hampshire for being compassionate, giving, and devoted to the Gospel message of our Lord and his Church. It has been a true joy of mine to meet so many of you. I look forward, in my gratitude, to continuing to serve you and our local Church in my retirement.
In the past few years, my holiday message has highlighted the great need which our nation’s economic downturn has created within our own community. Unfortunately, the need continues as families struggle with long-term unemployment, underemployment, and accumulating debt. The cumulative effects of these troubles have compounded the need for response. We are all called to help one another to the best of our availability. That is Christ’s commandment to all of us and I urge you to look around your own community and see where you may have something to contribute, be it an extra coat, a box of groceries for your local food pantry, or even time helping an elderly neighbor rake leaves and get ready for winter. No action is too small and the need is great.
Thanks and praise is also always due our Creator, especially during these times of want and struggle. We must remember that our Lord loved us into being and loves us now and for all eternity. He walks with us in our heartache and our rejoicing (“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Mt 28:20) and though temporal concerns can distract us from prayer and worship, I encourage you to extend your thanksgiving this season not only for the blessings you have here on earth, but for the ones our Heavenly Father will give you in Heaven. Remembering God’s promise of eternal life can help to ease the burdens of today and reminds us all to give thanks and praise.
Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire
153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
Fax: (603) 669-0377
© Diocese of Manchester