Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine, 1900 Grand Ave Carthage, MO. 64836

At Christmas 2014 We Pray,

Please, Let There Be Peace On Earth.

October 2014

My Dear Friend,

One can hardly underestimate the tremendous power of Christmas.

For most, the Christmas season is the year’s high point.  In my opinion, it is also the most joy-filled and peace-filled time of the year.

I do believe Jesus would give his stamp of approval for the general way his birthday is honored and remembered each year.

I say that for a number of reasons.  Jesus told us to care for the thirsty, the hungry, and the homeless.  It is a fact that more time and money is given at the Christmas season to charities which help others than at any other time of the year.

Jesus told us to be forgiving people and to turn the other cheek.  More people who have been hurt, alienated, and offended are also forgiven and brought back together at the Christmas season than at any other time of the year.

Jesus wanted us to share our unconditional love with others just as frequently as possible.  And we do that in our sending of Christmas cards to family and friends.  We do that in our generous gift giving.  We spend endless hours making candy, baking cookies, sewing quilts, and creating so many other things simply so these objects of time and labor can, in a spirit of love, be given to others.

During the Christmas season we sing songs of peace and good will.  We go out of our way to say hello and wish, even to strangers, “Merry Christmas.”  During the Christmas season people are more polite, they are generally in a better mood, and they reconnect with friends and family members more than at any other time of the year.  I do very sincerely believe Jesus would like this so very much.

We live in an imperfect world.  And I know that while our annual Christmas celebration might not be as perfect as possible, I really do believe Jesus would be most satisfied and pleased with the way the Christian world celebrates his birth.

So please don’t offend Jesus this coming Christmas season.  Share most abundantly, give most generously, forgive those who may have offended you, keep a smile on your face, and most importantly of all, let the love which Jesus has planted in your heart shine upon as many others as possible, not only on Christmas day, but also during all the days of the Christmas season.

And there is still one more priceless gift to be shared which I yet to mention, and that is the gift of prayer.  For what other gift if more precious, more welcomed, and certainly more valuable than the gift of prayer?  There’s no other gift which cost so little but which is more appreciated and welcomed.  So please do give the gift of prayer most generously during the 2014 Christmas season. 

And one of the best ways of sharing the gift of prayer this Christmas season is by blessing the lives of a few others with the enclosed Christmas Mass Novena cards.  Each card blesses the receiver with the spiritual gift of being prayed for in two Christmas Mass Novenas, one prayed here at Our Lady’s Shrine and the other in the Holy City of Nazareth. 

Please write on the enclosed form the names of those receiving these cards, along with the names of any others you also want enrolled in the Christmas Mass Novenas.  On this form you can also write any additional personal prayer petitions you would like prayed for in these two Mass Novenas.

I’d also encourage you to send along with your novena enrollment names a special Christmas donation in support of the Shrine’s ministries which touch the lives of so many thousands of troubled, hungry, and seeking people each year.

If your Christmas donation is $25 or more, I’d like to show my deep appreciation by lighting for your intentions a long-burning Christmas Votive Candle here at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine.  If you would perhaps like this candle to be lit in the name of another person, please make sure to write that person’s name on your Mass Novena enrollment form.

While the Christmas season is still a number of weeks away, please let me be the first to wish you and those you love a very joyful and peace-filled Christmas season.  May you and your family be blessed with an abundance of happiness and good health, both during the final weeks of 2014 and during all of 2015.


In the love and peace of Our Blessed Savior,




Fr. Raymond M. Dien, C.M.C.


P.S.  If your Christmas donation is $50 or more, I will not only have a Christmas Votive Candle lit for your intentions, or that of another person, but will also see that a gift tag, with your name written upon it, is attached to one of the beautiful poinsettia plants which will decorate the Shrine’s Chapel this coming holiday season.


Đền Thánh Khiết Tâm Mẹ    1900 Grand Ave, Carthage, MO 64836  
(417) 358-8580