Christmas Message 2021
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Typically, the days leading up to Christmas are spent planning traditional meals, shopping for gifts, decorating the house, and any number of other preparations depending upon family and traditions. The last two years have presented the challenge and stress that comes with trying to maintain some sense of normalcy around the holidays while still ensuring the safety of family and friends. It is difficult enough in “normal” times to remain focused on the reasons we ought to be joyful, merry, and thankful while being consumed with the responsibilities that come with the season. The pressures are magnified by the outside messages of the state, country, and city health officials “advising” what we may/can/should/should not do!
The truth is that no matter the circumstances, Christmas will come! The anniversary of Jesus’ birth will take place, Chanukah will happen, Kwanza is still written into the calendar as are the multitude of family and community feasts. Limitations and changes on the format of celebration have become familiar to us during these times. We, as adults, have been blessed in our lives with parents who have taught us why we celebrate, provided us with a foundation in our faith, and perpetuated longstanding traditions. Of all the gifts I’ve received from my parents as a child growing up, I am most grateful for their having taught me the importance of family, faith, hope, and love. You have not only an opportunity, but also a responsibility, despite the times, to ensure that you provide your children with the same.
Think back to the innocence we had as children, the anticipation of Santa Claus coming, the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, and yes, the gifts, and special foods. We cannot allow the challenges of the pandemic to get in the way of allowing our children having the same experience that we had. Let us ensure that they see Christmas as children ought to, with excitement, anticipation, and joy. It is easy to become bitter, angry, frustrated, and even helpless, yet we are better than that. We are strong, and we are responsible. If there is one thing I’ve learned about the children in the Cheverus family, it is that they too are strong, and more, they are resilient. I imagine they’ve gotten those qualities from you.
On behalf of the entire faculty and staff of Cheverus Catholic School, I wish you a very Blessed Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
Thomas P. Arria, Jr.