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Celebrating Evangelization Sunday and the joy of homecoming

On Christmas Day, for the first time ever, my father, his four children and his four grandchildren were together. This was also the first meeting of my brother, nephew and niece with the newborn in our family, Ricky, who is 14 months old. Our family is rarely all together because my younger sister lives in Southern California and my brother lives in Maryland. Whenever we gather together as a family, we miss whoever is not with us, and we pray for that family member and feel their absence. Gathering with our father on Christmas Day was a precious experience of the fullness of family and the joy of homecoming for us.

When we gather together for the sacred celebration of Mass, in the living presence of the Lord, we gather as family and we miss those who are not with us. We cherish our love for God and wish all to experience the peace and joy that comes from Christ and our faith. We want to be together completely as a family. Prior to every Sunday Mass, I pray for those who are not with us including: our deployed troops, those who are in hospitals, prisons and homebound, and those who have not yet returned to the community of faith. As a new year begins, throughout the archdiocese, we are making a special effort of outreach to our brothers and sisters who are no longer celebrating Mass with us.

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