Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that we have completed yet another year and now beginning a new one. What will this new year hold for us? In many ways, the future is uncertain and frightening. To know that, all we have to do is pick up a newspaper, watch a news show on the television or open our cell phone. Tragedies of all sorts – political upheaval around the world, weather concerns such as wild fires, hurricanes, floods, as well as human malcontent with other humans. Sometimes I feel like canceling my newspaper subscription and never turning on the television again. We must, however, be a participant in life. We must try to make a difference. We must be strong in our faith, values and beliefs. We must continue to serve our fellow citizens of the world – here and abroad – and make our world a better place. It is because of people like those at St. Francis that the world is a gentler, more caring place to live.

Each Christmas Eve I am struck by the words that the angel Gabriel said to Mary in the Gospel after she became aware that she was carrying Jesus. Gabriel said, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Mary’s response was, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Oh, that our faith were that strong! Mary was only 14 years old! As a teacher of middle school students, I can attest to the fact that their responses are generally much more argumentative and much less obedient. May we observe Mary and imitate her strength of faith and her obedience. May 2018 be the year that we serve and serve and serve some more, without questioning why.

Blessings to you and yours in this New Year of Our Lord!

Deacon Ann