As Christmas approaches here's a Christmas Message from Bishop Bernard Hebda. Bishop Hebda recently completed his first year as bishop and will be leading Catholics in Northern Michigan as we celebrate the Diocese of Gaylord's 40th Anniversary in 2011. The actual anniversary day is July 20, 2011. Here's a sample of Bishop Hebda's message...
For 18 Christmases, I had the opportunity to join thousands of Romans who wander the streets of their city during the 12 days of Christmas to visit the elaborate nativity scenes that would be erected in each Church. Following the Neapolitan tradition, the nativity scene would normally include not only the stable so familiar to us in the United States, with a smattering of shepherds, angels and kings, but also representatives of everyday Italian life -- the baker, the butcher, the mayor, the barkeep, and perhaps even a few soccer players -- all centered around the newborn king greeting the world from the simplicity of His manger. The message could not be any clearer: while there may have been no room in Bethlehem's inns, the Messiah makes sure that there's always room for everyone at His threshold.
During this Christmas season, let us be thankful for this wonderful shepherd who leads us with courage and grace. Thanks be to God for Bishop Hebda!
Read Bishop's Christmas message: Are we more like the innkeepers or the Lord? in the Charlevoix Courier