Yes, please let me be one of your first friends to
wish you a 2014 Merry Christmas.
I do hope your 2014 Christmas season will be the best
Christmas season of your entire life. I pray it will be for you and
those you love the most perfect and the most joy-filled Christmas
season you have ever experienced. Let us hope it will indeed be for you and those most dear to
you a time of peace and goodwill towards all.
In a few weeks the calendar will again read December
24. On that evening, thousands of little boys and girls will be
taking a peak at the evening sky and whispering a wish for
something they hope to find under the Christmas tree the next
To a child, the Christmas eve sky contains all sorts
of hopes. In the Christmas
eve sky every dream has a chance to come true.
Our Bible tells us that after the birth of Jesus wise
men from the East looked up to evening sky and spotted a new star
which they also believed was a sign of hope. For many days they traveled mile
after mile as that star guided them to Bethlehem. And it was there that they found
the object of their hope, Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
What are you seeking this year when you look into the
Christmas eve sky?
Are you looking for a better life, a new year blessed
with peace and happiness? Perhaps your prayer is for good health or for a stronger
sense of financial security.
This Christmas season, as in Christmas seasons past,
our religious community at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine will
also be adding our prayers to yours. We also will be praying for your
good health, for your financial security, for your peace of mind,
and for all the other most important and urgent needs which are the
daily object of your prayers.
Please write on the enclosed form each and every one
of those special needs which you would like prayed for this
Christmas season at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine.
And as we pray for you and all your needs, please
don’t forget to also pray for all your other loved ones, friends
and family members who deeply depend on your prayers.
A few weeks back a lady told me she just had no idea
what to give her parents for Christmas since they had everything
they needed. I told her that
her parents didn’t have everything they needed. She asked what I meant. So I then asked her if parents
spend a lot of time praying. She said, “Oh yes, father, my parents are very
I pointed out to her that if her parents had
everything they needed, they wouldn’t be spending so much time
praying. I suggested to this
woman the best gift she could give her parents was the gift of
prayer. I told her to add
her prayers to those of her parents, and that her parents would
then have the best of all Christmas gifts. She smiled and said, “Father,
perhaps you are right, my parents still have some very real needs.”
And one of the most generous ways to share your
prayers with those most dear to you will be to have them remembered
and prayed for in the Shrine’s Christmas Masses and the two
Christmas season Mass Novenas to follow. One will be prayed at the
Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine in Carthage, Missouri, and the
second in Bethlehem. You can
have your loved ones prayed for in these many Masses simply by
writing their names on the enclosed prayer petition form.
show your support for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine by
sending a generous Christmas donation today. The Shrine is a spiritual oasis
in a troubled world. It is a
place of holiness and a spiritual refuge for the young and old
your donation is $25 or more, I’ll see that a special Christmas
Votive Candle is lit for your intentions at Our Lady’s Shrine. And, if your gift is $50 or more,
I’ll 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 Fatima Chapel this Christmas season.
you and your loved ones are well and that each of you will have a
very blessed and peace-filled 2014 Christmas holiday season.
In the love and peace of Our Blessed
Fr. Raymond M. Dien, C.M.C.
P.S. If your Christmas donation is $25 or more, please ask to
receive one of the beautifully hand-painted Navtivies pictured on
the enclosed form.