Christmas 2018 Message
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Christmas reveals that Jesus came to be with us and reminds us of how important it was for Him not only to give his life for us but also to live his life with us. In fact, one of the many meaningful names given to Jesus is Emmanuel, which means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). At Christmas, God comes to us as a child, vulnerable, wordless, dependant; there was no room for him even at the inn on Christmas night. In this sophisticated world we need to approach Christmas with child-like simplicity and ensure that in the midst of the hustle and bustle, we make time and space in our hearts and our homes for Jesus, who evokes a love from us that is free, faithful and joyful.
Christmas is very much family time. Family can easily be neglected in this busy world. It is very interesting that the theme of the Western Conference of Catholic Religious Educators which our Diocese of Kamloops has successfully hosted from November 16 to 18, 2018 at OLPH’s parish was "We are family where Faith meets Life." Time spent with family and for the family is significant to keep us mindful of our roots, our faith and the values which we have inherited. In this prayerful season, we learn our own family identity by reflecting on and retelling the story of Christmas. During the conference, we welcomed catechists from 15 different Archdioceses, Dioceses and Eparchies of Western Canada. All participants of this conference have enjoyed and spoken highly on our preparation and hospitality. On behalf of Clergy, Religious and Laity of our diocese, I would like to thank our preparatory committee under the leadership of Sister Analisa Baracena, SFIC and Adele Huculak for their dedicated service and job well done.
At this special and prayerful time of profound religious significance, I would also like to thank all who work so tirelessly throughout our diocese, and I pray that the message of the Emmanuel would be reborn in our diocese, in our homes, and in our hearts this Christmas season. May the peace and joy that he brought to our world enable us to live as people who have hope in our hearts which will also encourage us to light a candle of hope where, for many, maybe a dark world.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family!
+Joseph Phuong Nguyen Bishop of Kamloops
L-R back row: Glen Palahicky, Huy Nguyen, Lisa Polk, Juliette Moquin, Yvonne Valiant, Murita Chau, Judith Vasquez, Marg Shea-Lawrence
L-R front row: Michael Soentgerath, Father Cyril Joseph, Christine Taylor, Bishop Greg Bittman (Nelson), Bishop Joseph Nguyen (Kamloops), Bishop Hector Vila (Whitehorse), Koreen Hrizai, Marilyn Jackson